Anthony Sinisuka Ginting

It certainly has been a dramatic couple of months for Indonesian Badminton Lover.

The main actor behind this drama is most certainly Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.

I have long hoped for Ginting along with Jonathan Jojo Christie and Ihsan Maulana Mustofa to carry the torch from Taufik Hidayat, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Tommy Sugiarto to be our ace in Men Single sector. I wrote about their emergence in this post about Indonesian Rising stars

But it has been a long road since then. In one tournament they defeated great players, but in the next they failed. Last year Ginting finally won his first major title in Korea Open. Still, they lack the consistency.

Then, last August in Asian Games held in home soil, we all saw how Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie fought their way to gain medals and contribute to the glory of our nation.

In the first week, we saw the Men’s Team competition. Ginting and Jonathan competes as the first and second single of Indonesian Team. In the early stages, we know that our chance were not that high considering China and Japan came with more complete players in both mens and doubles. The boys managed to overcame India in the quarterfinal. In the semifinal against Japan, we first saw how Ginting dominated Momota in the first set of the first match. However, being a good player that he is, Momota bounced back and won the second and third set. We were behind. Thankfully, the rest of the team i.e. The Minions, Jonathan Christie and Fajar/Rian all won. Indonesia were through to the final.

Ginting was key to keep the team chances of winning against the Chinese in the final. And…he gave just that as he again dominated Shi Yuqi and secure a 21 – 14 win in the first set. But, drama soon ensues as he was already leading in the second set, but Yuqi came back and stole the game with a narrow win 23 – 22. In the third game, Ginting again had many chances to win. But, he made a lot of mistakes, and Yuqi just found his way back. When the scoreboard reach 19 – 19, Ginting suffered cramps in his leg. He asked for a medical break, but managed to carry on to get another point. But, he could barely move. He asked for another break but was denied..and must retired against Shi Yuqi. Indonesia eventually lost out to China, as Jojo lost to Chen Long, and Rian/Fajar lost to Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan. But, Ginting courageous fight won him a lot of sympathies.

Ginting bounced back in the individual competition. Two days after suffering the cramps he took Kento Momota and this time, he won comfortably. Then in the quarterfinal, he beaten Chen Long! Our hope was soaring again for him. But, another drama ensues. He was up against Chou Tien Chen in the semifinal. Obviously he was tired having to face tough opponents in the past week. But, he sailed through in the first set against Chou. Even in the second set he reached match point, but could not win the set…Chou eventually won the second and the third set. Our heart was broken for Ginting. He has beaten the big guys, but could not managed to get into the finals. Thankfully, though, his counterpart Jonathan Christie managed to win against Kenta Nishimoto and reached the final. Up against Shi Yuqi, Jojo delivered the fight of his life and secured the Gold Medal!

Still, my heart goes to Ginting. He played so well…if only he could maintain his focus, he could have win so many titles.

fresh from the Asian Games, our player went on to play in Japan Open 2018. It is a Super 750 tournament. But, Ginting must now face another top player from Denmark, Viktor Axelsen in Round 2. He lost straight set to Viktor.

But, he must have learned a lot from it as he proved himself in the following tournament.

The next tournament was China Open Super 1000. Its the highest grade tournament after the Olympic. Ginting must face top players from first round. He was up against Lin Dan. He beat him. Then, he must again faced Viktor Axelsen. This time, he won against him (some said that Viktor was not well). In the Quarter final, we faced another Olympic Medalist and World Champion, Chen Long. Yet again, he prevailed. In the semifinal, he took revans against Chou Tien Chen and beat him in three sets.

Finally, in the final today, he must played against Kento Momota. Before the match, I wish that this time, he will win. Throuhgout the tournament, he had shaky starts and lost his first sets (except against Axelsen). But, not today. He was behind, but he managed to overcame his opponent with skillful net play, accurate placing and killer smash.

He secured the first set. My hope is soaring, but still, this is Momota afterall. I still remembered how he fought his way back during the Asian Games team match so we could never count him out. He usually has his way of coming back and steal the match! Typical of Ginting, he has momentarily lost his focus in the start of the second game. He was trailing again.

But, I dont know how he managed to get his confident back. He started delivering the best that he can do. We are edging closer to the end of the match. 19 – 19. Then, Ginting started attacking. Momota has unbelievable defense, Ginting got the point! I started recording the moment in my smartphone. Somehow, I believe that Ginting can win this.

20 – 19. We could see him trying to calm his nerve. His coach Hendry Saputra muttering…Ginting made a perfect setup, beautiful net and he secured the title! Champion at last! He screamed and laid on the floor.

Indonesian Badminton Lover rejoice in Ginting’s victory. Now, we have a new hope for the Men’s Single Sector.

To me personally, there were so many things that we can learn from one Anthony Ginting. I will not talk about his skill, cause that will not apply to me. But, we can all learn from his mental attitude. He is a person who know how to overcome failure. He, who must face tremendous backlash during his low points. Yes, being a Badminton player in Indonesia act as a double edge swords. Badminton athletes were loved and praised during their glory. But, badminton fans can be really harsh and opinionated when the athletes fail. Ginting, who must feel extremely disappointed upon his lost, but can come back the next day looking completely happy for Jonathan Christie, his team mate during the awarding ceremony of the Asian Games. Ginting, who last week lost against Axelsen, but came back with positivity and confident to fight him again and win. Ginting has the perseverance, hard work and courage to be a champion.

Congratulations Ginting and his family and support group! Congratulations Coach Hendry! Hope you will have more titles in the future!

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Changi Terminal 3

I have stopped over a number of times at Changi Airport. Though I cant quite remember which Terminals.

But, my impression of Changi airport is always the same: Wow. Today we will depart from Terminal 3. As soon as we entered the building I am amazed with how modern, airy and bright it feels.

The terminal was host to so many fashion brands. But, the grand champion for us today was the Luis Vuitton Shop. It has a giant screen and colorful crystal balls. Its beautiful.

The only challenge about Changi Airport is that its so big you really need to make sure that you are waiting at the right gate.

When we are getting our connecting flight from Singapore to London, we originally saw that it will depart from Gate A. So we waited there. Since there were still time before boarding time, I started writing this post.

Around 20 minutes before boarding time, my husband suddenly had the urge to check the screen again. Shockingly, without any announcement our flight have been moved to Gate D!!! So we must run to get to the gate in time. It was quite scary and tiring. So make sure you checked from time to time for your departure gate.

London, here we come

Yeeessss…after over 14 years I finally get a chance to visit England.

Just like two years a go, my husband organise a conference and this time it is going to be held in Cranfield, England. I will present at the conference. So we brings the kids too.

They have always wanted to go to England since we talked about our times there and show them our pictures. The only down side is the fact that they must leave school for over a week. But, we ask.for their teachers permission. And they actually brint their books with them 😊

So it will be double the fun…Yayyy

First we stopped over in Singapore. We stayed at a Hotel called Raintr33. It was aptly titled since it was surrounded by big trees.

The facility is nice. But it does not have an elevator. So make sure you dont bring big suitcases!! Thankfully yesterday the lady at the SQ Counter offered to check our big luggage straight to London.

Okay its 8.44am local time. We must get ready for our connecting flight.

London here we come!!!

Yogyakarta

Jogjakarta always held a special place in my heart. I have fond memories of it since I spent almost two years of my childhood there when my father studied for his Ph.D. Jogja also reminds me of him and his struggle.

Yogya was known as the City of Education. It is home of Universitas Gadjahmada (UGM) one of the top university in Indonesia. My father got his Ph.D from UGM.

Yogyakarta also held a special place for Indonesia music industry. It was the homebase of several prolific band including Kla Project and Sheila on Seven.

Kla Project’s song Yogyakarta is one of my favorite Indonesian song..

Pulang ke kotamu…ada setangkup haru dalam rindu. Masih seperti dulu…tiap sudut menyapaku bersahabat. Penuh selaksa makna…

There are many things to enjoy there while you are in Jogja..the slow almost melancholy atmosphere, the culture, the places, the artistics yet affordable handicrafts…

This time around we went in a big group of my husband’s colleagues and families. We went by train. I always love train journey. In the beginning it was quite comfortable. I read a book that I bought in Harvard bookstore long time a go. But then the air conditioning was turned on and it became too cold. So my advise is to bring warm clothes or you can also rent some blankets.

Our train arrived just after noon. After checked ourself in at the hotel, my husband had a meeting so I thought the girls for a walk. I already checked that it would be the only time I have free time to buy some souvenirs. Afterall, we will buy them eventually.

Our main destination was Malioboro. I checked on the map, and it appeared to be quite close…but even so, I managed to mess it up. Since I took the girls…I decided to take Becak.

Becak is now transformed into Becak Motor. The rider known as Abang Becak, also voluntarily act as tour guide. Be very clear and FIRM on what you wanna do and where you wanna go, otherwise a short ride may turn into shopping spree…just like what happened to us.

The girls enjoyed the Becak Ride so much 🤗

The next day we visited a beach where the girls got an opportunity to dive and see some fishes.

After that we were supposed to visit two places: pine forest and a hobbit place. But, turned out we took longer. By the time we arrived to the place, it was almost dark. So we skipped one place. I was not really impressed with the second place since everything seem to be an outdoor photo studio.

Thankfully on our way back we stopped at a restaurant at the top of the hill, which offer breathtaking view of Jogjakarta at night. The hill is aptly called star hill.

The last day in Jogja we just wanna explore the city. This time my hubby also joined me and the girls so we ended up hiring two Becak.

My plan was only to go to Keraton (The Palace) of Jogjakarta. We hired two Abang Becak to take us there. But the Abang Becak took us to the Bakpia Pathok shop first. Bakpia Pathok is the most popular cake from Jogja. So, in the end we stopped and bought some boxes for souvenirs.

Then, he persuaded us to visit the Museum of Palace Carriage before visiting the Keraton. Again, its not part of the plan since we never heard about the museum. But, we’re glad that the Abang Becak did, because we got to see some grand carriage…

Each carriage safely maintain in the Museum has its name.

The one in this picture is called Garuda Yeksa. It was made by the Dutch in 1861 during the period of Sri Sultan HB VI. This carriage was only used during the King coronation in Keraton Yogyakarta. Kereta Garuda Yeksa was used during the coronation of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwana VI to Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwana X.

On our way out of the Museum, we saw the Palace staff, called Abdi Dalem, parading. I did not quite get what is the occasion, but Keraton Jogja is one among a few kindom in Indonesia which still adhere to their tradition.

Finally we made it into the palace… First, we must buy tickets to get in. You must also pay for every camera used to take pictures. But the price for both are really reasonable.

One corner of the Palace

We arrived almost noon and was told that there will be a performance inside the palace. Perfect time!

These beautiful ladies practice their dance inside Kraton Jogja (Palace of Jogja). Their moves are slow and graceful as opposed to energetic and fast Balinese dance.

We did not stay long at the Keraton since we must catch our flight. But all in all Jogja always bring certain atmosphere that makes me wanna come back. Until next time Jogja!!

Great Victory at Home from Owi/Butet and Minions

Its been a few days since the hustle and bustle of Indonesia Open Super 1000 Jakarta. So, the euphoria surrounding Owi/Butet and Minions won has slowly disappeared.

But, I just have to write it down.

What a contrasting two weeks for Indonesian Badminton Lover. Two weeks a go in Malaysia Open Super 700 we were totally crushed.

Then, we had a blast at home!

Indonesia Open Super 1000 was back at infamous Istora Senayan, after relocating to JCC last year. Istora was famous for many reasons. Many players looked forward to play to the very lively crowd. This year was no different, if not better. The seats were full packed from day one! They also have livestreaming from most courts, so I can treated my disappointment for not being able to watch live.

Our players, except for womens and mens single did very well. Unfortunately two of my idols, Hendra/Ahsan a.k.a. the Daddies and Kevin/Gideon a.k.a. the Minions must face each other in the first round 😵😵 Minions won and went on to the next rounds. Angga/Ricky and Fajar/Rian played well too. Minions beat yet again Fajar/Rian in the quarterfinal.

Then in semifinal, they faced one of their toughest opponent, Duo Mads from Denmark. The game was really tight technically. There was no denying minions speed. But Duo Mads also have their tactics to keep Minions pressured. In an incident that is still trending up to today, Kevin thought that his smash hit one of the mads body. But they did not acknowledge this. They even want to challenge. The referee argued that he did not see it. Linesman called it out so minions challenged…and protested hard. Kevin clearly disappointed, made emotional gestures. The referee almost gave the minions a yellow card. It rarely happened in Badminton. And thankfully it did not happen and minions carried on to win the game.

In the mixed double sector, Hafiz/Gloria and Ricky/Debby played well in the first two rounds to advance to the quarterfinal when they finally had to face each other. Hafiz/Gloria had an epic win against their Riky/Debby. But they must face Owi/Butet in the semifinal and must admitted that the Olympic Champion is playing at their best performance.

Owi/Butet, actually had bad records playing at Istora. They won so many tournaments including last year Indonesia, but NOT AT ISTORA. So the media branded “the curse” of Istora.

The final day was arrived. The Istora was full with badminton fan. The organizer had a great opening. All the officials of the game wear our national clothes, Batik 👍👍

Owi/Butet faced Chang Pen Soon/Goh Liu Ying from Malaysia who had a great tournament beating the like of Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong in the semifinal.

Owi/Butet played very very well. It appears that their opponent were a little underperformed. After the game Goh said that the crowd was so noisy she can barely heard her partner 🙏😁

So, Liliyana Natsir were quite emotional after clinching the title..she went to hugged her mom. The curse had been broken! She was so happy to do it in what could be her last game in Istora. We will surely miss her. She is a national hero 🇮🇩🇮🇩

Then in the last play of the day, the minions faced young pair from Japan. They proved that they were too fast for their Japanese opponent! The crowd went wild.

The disappointments at Malaysia Open Super 750 are paid off today at Indonesia Open Super 1000. Owi/Butet and The Minions are back at their best! Congrats, great performances and great tournament. Hope to see them on the podium against next month, giving Asian Games gold medals for Indonesia 😇😇😇😇🇮🇩🇮🇩🇮🇩

Not a day for Indonesian Badminton Lover

I know its just a sport.

I also know that there is always win or lose in a sport game.

But when its your player, representing your country, you cannot help but hope for glory.

I am sure all Indonesian Badminton Lover feel sad today.

In between all the hype of FIFA Worldcup, the first tournament after Thomas and Uber Cup in Thailand where our teams also failed to pass through semifinal and quarterfinal, is Malaysian Open Super 750.

It is actually quite a good tournament since it had streaming from all the courts from day 1! But, we lost so many of our players on day 1 and 2.

In day 1, Anthony Ginting played very well in the first set against Kento Momota. But, Kento won the second set and continue to win the match. In the same day, Hardianto and Berry also lost. Then, in day 2, Jonathan Christie, Ahsan/Hendra and Rian/Fajar all lost 😦

So, like many many other occasion, we put our hope on two of our favorite players. Kevin/Marcus and Tontowi/Lilyana.

The drawing put them both in match 2, in different court. So I set my laptop in front of the TV, and watch both game. Sadly, in both game they lost.

Hopefully, they will do better in next week Indonesia Open!

Back to Work

All good holiday must come to an end.

After twelve days in Bali, finally we are back to work.

But this holiday I managed to accomplish two things that I set out to do.

First is to catch up with my crocheting. I managed to create two hats. Well they were too small so I will use them as baskets.

Secondly, I managed to blog more. First only several sentences. But as soon as I started rolling, all the posts come naturally. I wrote about Bali countryside and our experience at Blangsinga and Tegenungan Waterfall.

Then I realized that I have lots of unfinished posts. When I started writing again about a week a go, I have over 30 drafts!! Some are nearly completed just need some finishing touches i.e. adding pictures such as this post about Surabaya. So, in no time I add some pictures and post it 😁

Some ideas in the draft also overlap. This means that I really want to write about them but it was a tough subject so I could not finish it the first time. I left it but instead of finish it I ended up writing another draft. For example, I have two drafts about lecturing. I deleted one draft and tried to put all the ideas that I can to post this one. Its not perfect, but I think I better get it posted rather than leaving it as a draft.

I think that is one of the reason I have so many unfinished stuffs. I wanna make it perfect but I dont have enough perseverence and time to get it to my own standard.

Some drafts are as far back as 2011. Sometimes I started writing a post when I experience something important that I wanna share it. But, since it was so long a go it is really difficult to recall what I think or feel back then. Take this post about my struggle to feed medicine to a toddler. It was such a traumatic experience for me. I dont know why I did not finish the post at that time, most probably because I got tied up with something else. This time I really really forced myself just to post it. Maybe not as detailed as it would have been if I posted it right at that time, but the main message still the same.

Then, I also have many posts related with work that I wrote during my time as administrator. Again, these are tough topic to write in comparison with travelling experiences. But, I managed to finish these posts too. I think it is better to get it posted, rather than writing a great post. The first post about my experience of being an event organizer. There were so many little details that I left out because I just cant recall them.

There were also experiences that I really really wish I had written. That is my experience during IVLP trip to US. I managed to write about Washington during the trip. But then I left it out for too long. Then I posted about Chicago followed by Boston.

So all in all, I came out with these tips to write a blog post:

  • If you want to write about your experience write it as soon as you experience it. If you dont have time to write a full length post at the time just write the key points then save it in a draft.
  • As soon as you have time finish the draft.
  • Set a specific amount of time for you to write say about 30 minutes. Force yourself to finish it within the set time.
  • Aim to finish rather than the quality

Happy blogging!!!