Badminton Life

Greysia a Smashing Success in Indonesia

She may only be ranked 14th in women's doubles but Indonesia's Greysia Polii is making waves in the global badminton scene.

Greysia does what few other women players do - and that is jump smashing, when players rise high into the air and smash the shuttlecock downwards as hard as they can.

There have been plenty of male exponents of this manoeuvre in both singles and doubles but women rarely venture so high.

Greysia's ability has seen her triumph in the Philippines Open as well as reach several Super Series tournaments.

In an interview with Europe's Badzine, the 21-year-old became enamoured with the sport as a child in her hometown of Manado, in North Sulawesi, after being encouraged by her sister and former national player Deyana Lomban.

She said: "I saw my sister play badminton and she asked me to join, then Deyana Lomban asked me to do so. I started to play but I didn't take it too seriously, but as the time passed I started to enjoy the sense of being a champion after some little championship in my hometown of Manado, which was my first tournament. I was only six that time."

It was when she moved with her mother to Jakarta in 1995 that she started serious and professional training.

Her mother entered her into the Jaya Raya Jakarta club, one of the most famous badminton clubs in the country that produced the likes of Candra Wijaya, Tony Gunawan, Alan Budi Kusuma and Susi Susanti.

From no proper training to hard graft provided Greysia with a fast learning curve. It was difficult times as she paid for herself and mother to go to various tournaments around Surabaya but it was worth it.

"We bought only one train ticket for the business class to go to Surabaya for the tournament, because at that time I had to pay my own accommodation and the accommodation was too expensive for me because I was having the my hardest time at that moment," she said.

"At other times, I had to stay at local citizens' houses while the others stayed at a nice hotel during the tournaments."

Her sacrifices, hard work and dedicated has paid off and she is now a key member of the Indonesian doubles squad.

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