Badminton Life



Taufik Back in Training After Fever Scare

Indonesia's defending Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat suffered a scare when he was admitted to hospital with a high fever last week.

However, the 2004 Athens men's singles gold medalist has been passed fit to compete in the Beijing Olympics, which starts on August 8.

Indonesian coach Christian Hadinata said in an Associated Press article that the former world champion has already resumed training and his place in the Olympic squad is not under jeopardy.

"He's already back to training," said Hadinata. "He will definitely go to the Olympics."

According to reports, Taufik was admitted to Pondok Indah Hospital with a high temperature and was discharged on Saturday.

He is one of 11 badminton players in Indonesia's Beijing Olympic squad, though he will find it tough to successfully defend his men's singles title.

Taufik has struggled against the world's top players in recent years and has rarely hit peak form. Ironically, he sat out the Indonesian National Games in mid-July in order to avoid injuring himself before the Olympics.

As it turned out, he fell ill and must now speed up his recovery in order to be in prime condition for the Games, where he has a tough first match against Malaysia's Wong Choong Hann.

He is now ranked sixth in the world and faces many hurdles in his quest for a second straight Olympic gold medal.

Apart from Wong, the draw is littered with tough players, including top seed Lin Dan from China, his bitter rival, Bao Chunlai, Chen Jin and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei.

The Olympic badminton tournament starts on August 9 at the Beijing University of Technology, where hordes of home fans are expected to turn out to support the Chinese team.

Indeed, Taufik will have to also overcome partisan home support for the Chinese players if he is to have any chance of winning a medal.

The Indonesian team did not report any other problems with the squad, which hopes to do well in men's singles, men's doubles and also mixed doubles.

Also favourites to win medals are players from South Korea and Malaysia, with Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles their best hope.












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