News: Tactics and fitness prime concerns as Sony heads to Denmark

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  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Tactics and fitness prime concerns as Sony heads to Denmark
    Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

    Asian champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro is to be included in the Indonesian badminton squad for the Denmark Open even though his coach is concerned about the 19-year-old's tactical play and physical condition.

    Sony captured his 2002 Asian title by defeating senior compatriot Taufik Hidayat in Bangkok, but his performance has since been lackluster, with the recent dismal runs at the Indonesia Open and Malaysia Open.

    "He has yet to improve his tactical regime during play as well as his physical fitness," coach Joko Supriyanto told The Jakarta Post at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, Central Jakarta, on Thursday.

    "A change in tactics is crucial during the game. It appears that Sony, on finding his opponents hard to deal with, can't immediately shift to another tactical approach. He needs to improve in this area," Joko said.

    "Sony needs to be more determined and play in more tournaments," he said.

    Sony crashed in the third round of the Indonesia Open early this month, losing to South Korean Lee Hyun-il. He reached the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open only to be beaten by the host's Wong Choong Hann.

    Sony, whose best result this year was a semifinal berth at the Swiss Open, conceded his weaknesses but said he was starting to improve.

    "Hopefully in Denmark, I'll be able to go all out without being afraid of running out of stamina," he said after participating in a morning training session.

    He defends his title in Jakarta in October. But he will be up against a stiff challenge in Denmark, which he will have to work hard to overcome.

    He is one of the three singles Indonesia will be sending to Aarhus, the venue of the Denmark Open, which will run from Oct. 23 to Oct. 28. The other two singles are Indonesia Open champion Taufik Hidayat, and Rony Agustinus.

    Rony will head directly to Denmark from the Netherlands after having competed in the Dutch Open, where he lost his opening game.

    The Danish tournament, which provides a total of US$170,000 in cash prizes, is one of the qualifying events for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

    With regard of Sony and Taufik, Joko said that both players would have equally good chances in the tournament.

    "Hopefully, Taufik will continue with his confident run which earned him the Indonesia Open championship.

    "However, our focus will be on how the players can collect points for Olympic qualification. They might not win the championship, but they must keep themselves in the Olympic running by reaching the semifinals or finals," he said.

    "They must be able to break into the top eight in the IBF (International Badminton Federation) final rankings, which would allow them to avoid the top seeds early in the Olympics," he said.

    Sony is currently ranked seventh, while Taufik is still 11th in the IBF rankings.
     

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