Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan on their way to winning the BWF World Superseries Finals in December. Last year, they also won the Malaysian Open, Indonesian Open, Singapore Open and Japan Open.
KUALA LUMPUR: All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) knows how to motivate their national badminton players to keep winning honours for their country.
On Saturday, PBSI honoured reigning men’s doubles world champions Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan with the Most Valuable Players (MVP) award, which came with a 1bil rupiah (RM273,866) reward in a special ceremony during the Indonesia Super League (ISL) in Surabaya.
PBSI chairman Gita Wirjawan is quoted by the Jakarta Post saying: ”They (Ahsan and Hendra) are models for all of us. Anyone can become a champion. In 2012, they were ranked 50th in the world. After winning the world title (in Guangzhou last August), they are now the world No. 1 pair.”
Besides the world title, Ahsan-Hendra also won five other titles last year – the Malaysian Open, Indonesian Open, Singapore Open, Japan Open and the BWF World Superseries Finals.
The recognition and monetary reward is expected to fuel the fire in Ahsan and Hendra to win their first All-England title when the competition gets under way from March 4-9 in Birmingham.
Meanwhile, there was no double joy for the two-time world champion Hendra when his club Jaya Raya Jakarta failed to clinch the 1bil rupiah ISL title on Sunday after losing 2-3 to defending champions Musica Flypower Champion in the final.
Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei is a member of the winning team but he only played in the group ties. He had beaten Takuma Euda of Unisys Japan 22-20, 21-11 and Derek Wong of Koh Bros Singapore 14-21, 13-21 in Group B ties.