Badminton Life

Indonesia Breaks Up Semi-Final Pair

The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has decided to separate Olympic mixed doubles semi-finalists Vita Marissa and Flandy Limpele, at least for the next two tournaments.

The partnership was seen as a potential Beijing gold-medal winning one when the pair teamed up to win the Asian Championship mixed doubles title in April in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

However, they failed to get beyond the last four in the Olympics. Although it was a good effort, the Indonesians feel it is worth trying to experiment with different partnerships for the future.

Also, Flandy is 32 while Vita is 27 and the age difference may work against them.

Mixed doubles coach Richard Mainaky was quoted in the Jakarta Post as saying: "Due to the age factor, Flandy will no longer match up with Vita."

Instead, Vita will partner Muhammad Rijal, who formerly teamed up with Greysia Polii.

Said Mainaky: "Vita needs a new partner to enhance her performance. Rijal is young and has potential. He put on a good performance during the Indonesian Super Series with Greysia but we also want to see how he goes with Vita."

The new pairings will be thrown into the Taiwan Open later this week, where PBSI coaches can have a good look at how they link up together and their overall performances.

They will also be together for the Japan Open Super Series event, which starts on September 16.

Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir, who won a silver medal in Beijing, are likely to stay together for the Japanese event. Mainaky said he wants the new teams to learn from them.

"The pairing of Nova and Liliyana is a perfect mixed double's role model for new players. They are in their own class. Only a few pairs can beat them," he said.

Nova and Liliyana were favourites to land the gold medal in the Olympic Games but were beaten by the up-coming South Korea pair of Lee Yong-dae and Lee Hyo-jung.

Other new doubles pairings in the Indonesia cap were Greysia teaming up with Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, Lita Nurlita with Endang Nursugianti, Jo Novita with Rani Mundiastuti, Nathalia Christine Poluakan with Nadya Melati and Yulianti with Devi Tika Permatasari.

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