Badminton Life

Djoko Becomes New Indonesia Badminton President

National Military chief Djoko Santoso was elected as the new president of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) after the surprise withdrawal of former top player Icuk Sugiarto.

Santoso, who succeeds Sutiyoso, said his main task is to restore Indonesia as the best badminton country in the world while also increasing the popularity of the sport among the people.

Sugiarto was favoured to win the presidency given his high profile as a former player and his withdrawal from the ballot, which he said was "for the sake of badminton", caught many by surprise.

Sugiarto is still serving a two-year suspension from the association.

Djoko said he will do his best to bring glory to Indonesia while also uniting the badminton fraternity.

He was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Post: "I thank you all for giving me the mandate to lead the PBSI. My ambition is to make the sport more popular among Indonesians and pick up the world champion titles.

"To realise the vision, we must strengthen our ties of togetherness, kinship, unity and solidarity. That's the basic principle officials and athletes must implement to develop badminton."

Djoko said he would seek help from his predecessor Sutiyoso during his tenure. His immediate goal, though, is to bring the associations together. To do this, he has roped in Jakob Rusdianto (East Java), Anwari (Central Java), Alexander Daud (North Sulawesi) and Johanes (North Sumatra).

Taufik Hidayat, Indonesia's 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist in the men's singles, said he was happy with the election results.

He hopes that the new leaders will recruit younger officials who are more in tune with the requirements of badminton in the country.

"I also still hope that one day our athletes will be given the chance to speak up during the convention," said Taufik.

Indeed, Djoko is known in Indonesia as a military man with little experience of sports administration. However, he feels he is in the right position to make a difference.

He vowed to work hard for everyone who supports badminton in Indonesia.

"I really appreciate the athletes and everybody who is involved in badminton and I will give more attention and appreciation for them," he said. "Because in my opinion, for Indonesia, badminton is not just a sport. It is also a source of dignity and honor."

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