As I had expected and predicted in my previous post (Where are your principles, SBA?), the Singapore Badminton Association decided to cut its suspension of shuttler Hendra Wijaya by a day so that he can play in the World Championships in Paris. The report from The Straits Times is below.
I guess this is what happens when you throw in your lot with the Foreign Talent Scheme, investing huge amounts of money to develop and groom shuttlers from other countries and turning them into naturalised citizens.
Because you’ve become so dependent on them for success, and because your KPIs for more government funding is dependent on their successes, you are willing to throw your principles out of the window just to get the much-sought after results.
I wonder how the SBA would have reacted if the shuttler in question was a local-born chap who is ranked lower than Hendra, with little chance of being selected for or going far in the World Championships.
Would we then see the national sports association keeping the suspension and then puffing up its chest for all to admire its tough stance on poor discipline?
After seeing how the SBA rushed to get China-born Huang Chao citizenship in January so that he can play in the Youth Olympic Games, instead of considering the three other local-born shuttlers in their YOG provisional squad (which now seems a sham on hindsight), and bearing in mind the Zheng Qingjin fiasco two years back, I know what I would expect.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
Singapore shuttlers in all five events
(The Straits Times, 23 Aug 2010)
By Lin Xinyi
SINGAPORE has sent an eight-member squad to the World Badminton Championships, starting in Paris today.
It will be represented in all five events, including the men’s doubles, after the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) confirmed that Hendra Wijaya will be available to play.
In May, he was handed a three-month suspension from all tournaments that was to end on Aug 24.
But an unofficial two-week suspension before the start of his ban, coupled with good attitude during training, will see him play in a tournament a day earlier.
Hendra and his brother Hendri Kurniawan Saputra will face Germany’s Michael Fuchs and Ingo Kindervater today.
Ashton Chen and Derek Wong will compete in the men’s singles, while Xing Aiying is Singapore’s sole representative in the women’s singles.
Yao Lei will feature in the women’s doubles with Shinta Mulia Sari and the mixed doubles with Chayut Triyachart.
Singapore’s best hopes lie in the women’s doubles where Shinta and Yao Lei are the 11th seeds.