Ex-world champ Hendrawan to chart singles players’ success


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia have hired former world champion Hendrawan of Indonesia to help revive the fortunes of the country’s singles players.

And the 37-year-old Hendrawan will officially start work with the national team in July.

He will be the third reputable Indonesian to be part of the team to chart the fortunes of Malaysian badminton.

Rexy Mainaky is the current chief coach of the doubles players and Indra Gunawan was the singles coach of the Malaysian men’s team in 2001 and 2002.

Hendrawan will work with national singles chief coach Rashid Sidek to find solutions to unearth more singles talent and to produce world-beaters.

Currently, there is a wide gap in standard between world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and the rest of the men’s elite and back-up players while Wong Mew Choo and Julia Wong are the only two Malaysian female players thus far to have attained world status.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary, P. Ganga Rao, confirmed yesterday that Malaysia had engaged the service of Hendrawan.

“We are happy that our deal with Hendrawan has come through. The BAM have been quite concerned with the critical situation in the singles. It is our hope that he will be able to help us to strengthen our singles department,” he said.

The BAM had been eyeing Hendrawan for quite some time but they were only able to get the 2001 world champion to sign on the dotted lines without problems after he quit as a coach with the All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) at the end of March.

Hendrawan, however, has to fulfil his obligations with Indonesia at the just concluded Sudirman Cup in Guangzhou and also the upcoming Indonesian Open (June 16-21).

Ganga added that the BAM would finalise the players to come under the charge of Hendrawan soon.

“With Hendrawan in, we will have a strong coaching team in the singles department. The coaches will now have to come together and decide on who will be placed under the care of Hendrawan,” said Ganga.

Besides Rashid, the other singles coaches of the national players are Misbun Sidek and Teh Seu Bock.

Misbun has four elite players under his charge — Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong and Mew Choo.

Seu Bock handles women’s players Julia, Lydia Cheah and S. Stephanie Shalini while Rashid deals with four back-up men’s players — Tan Chun Seang. Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.

It is learnt that Hafiz and Beng Hong are likely to be the two main players to be placed under Hendrawan.

Ganga said that Malaysia hold high regards on the credibility of Hendrawan.

“He has done wonders with the current Indonesian men’s and women’s singles players. He is knowledgable and is a well-spoken man. He is modest despite all the major achievements as a player and coach. We are looking forward to a great partnership with Hendrawan,” he said.

Besides Hendrawan’s exploits in the individual championships, he is also known as a great team player.

Hendrawan spoiled Malaysia’s party in the 2002 Thomas Cup Finals in China when he defeated Mohd Roslin Hashim in the deciding fifth match of the final tie.

Probably, with Hendrawan now on the Malaysian side, there is greater hope that Malaysia, who will host the Thomas Cup Finals next year, will be able to regain the title last won in Kuala Lumpur in 1992.

HENDRAWAN FACTFILE AGE: 37 DATE OF BIRTH: June 27, 1972 PLACE OF BIRTH: Malang, East Java, Indonesia MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS AS A PLAYER FROM 1993-2003: 1998 Singapore and Thailand Open champion; 1998 Asian Games silver medallist; 2000 Sydney Olympic Games silver medallist; 2001 World Championship champion; key player when Indonesia won the Thomas Cup in 1998, 2000, 2002 and Sudirman Cup in 2001. ACHIEVEMENTS AS INDONESIA SINGLES COACH (2004-2009): Hendrawan can be credited for the rise of men’s singles shuttlers Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso and also the women’s singles players.

HENDRAWAN FACTFILE

AGE: 37

DATE OF BIRTH: June 27, 1972

PLACE OF BIRTH: Malang, East Java, Indonesia

MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS AS A PLAYER FROM 1993-2003:

1998 Singapore and Thailand Open champion; 1998 Asian Games silver medallist; 2000 Sydney Olympic Games silver medallist; 2001 World Championship champion; key player when Indonesia won the Thomas Cup in 1998, 2000, 2002 and Sudirman Cup in 2001.

ACHIEVEMENTS AS INDONESIA SINGLES COACH (2004-2009):

Hendrawan can be credited for the rise of men’s singles shuttlers Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso and also the women’s singles players.

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