Jakarta — Indonesian seasoned player Taufik Hidayat said that he would seek more cooperation with China after his retirement, aiming to improve performances of talented players trained in his international-class badminton hall here.
Taufik, who had garnered dozens of men’s singles championships in international tournaments, plans to retire from his professional career mid next year.
He said that he would spend most of his time after his retirement to develop talented badminton players in his newly-built badminton hall and training center located in Ciracas, eastern part of Jakarta, called Taufik Hidayat Arena (THA).
Besides his own team tasked to carry out the training programs for talented badminton players from several countries, Taufik would see possibilities to seek more assistance from his experienced foreign counterparts, including those from China, whom he had built good relationship with during his 16-year career.
He said establishing cooperation with his Chinese colleague players is an option that he would take to hone up skills of badminton players trained in THA.
“I took part in Chinese badminton league recently. I feel so close with the country. The cooperation can be conducted by coach or players exchange programs. Or perhaps, they can undertake training here or the other way around,” Taufik told Xinhua in his international-class badminton training facility THA here on Wednesday.
He added that he has a very good relationship with Chinese players and has many fans based in that country.
“It can be discussed later. Why can’t we? We can build close cooperation. After all, sports is meant to make closer relations between people.”
He said that he makes friends with many Chinese players and coaches that he still preserves as of now.
“I have very good relations with Li Yongbo, one of the Chinese team coaches. He knows that I have this facility and he knows that I will be here after my retirement,” he added.
China has long been regarded as a powerhouse in world’s badminton sport as it has many seeded badminton players who dominate top ranks of the international badminton federations and won many professional badminton tournaments.
Indonesia had its heyday in badminton in 1980s and 1990s when many Indonesian players swept out most of medals and became an apparent rival to China.
The apex of Indonesian badminton was the seizure of two gold medals in 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games when Susi Susanto and Alan Budikusuma respectively won the women’s and men’s singles.
Media has learnt that Taufik has Chinese arch rival Lin Dan during his excellent career. Matches that met the two skillful players had always been waited by badminton enthusiasts across the world as the two players would demonstrate all of their exceptional skills in seizing the championships.
Taufik planned to retire after undertaking several number of international badminton tournaments among others in Malaysia, South Korea, Britain and Australia.
He would officially announce it after taking part in Indonesia Open slated for June 2013.
In his 16-year excellent career, the 31-years-old had won an Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004, adding to two Asian Games title respectively in Busan 2002 and Doha 2006, and Asian Championship trophies in 2000, 2003 and 2004.
As professional player, he won the best men’s single badminton player in 2005 International Badminton Federation (IBF) World Championship held in Anaheim.
Taufik was also a six-time winner of the annual Indonesia Open, and brought national team to Asian Team Cup trophy in 1999 and Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur 2000 and Guangzhou 2002.
The Taufik Hidayat Arena, the only badminton hall in the country, and even in the world, owned and named after a badminton player himself, is built in Ciracas, east Jakarta, and has eight international-standard badminton lawns.
The futuristic-designed building is built on 6,600 meter square of land area, provides complete training sessions including accommodations.
Many players from China, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Mexico had undergone intensive training sessions in the badminton hall under the supervision of Taufik and his coach team.