Taufik Hidayat Reveals the Secret of Nearly Missing the 2004 Athens Olympics but Returning Home with Gold for Indonesia

Taufik Hidayat Reveals the Secret of Nearly Missing the 2004 Athens Olympics but Returning Home with Gold for Indonesia

Now, 20 years later, the 42 year old man has revealed that he almost did not appear at the world’s biggest quadrennial summer sports event.

“Previously, I couldn’t compare it with the current conditions because (the situation) was different. I had my own targets first. Before going to the Olympics, I left PBSI, I went to Singapore,” said Taufik when met by BolaSport.com at the Cipayung National Training Center, Jakarta, Tuesday (27 /2/2024).

“I only have one challenge. My coach said (Mulyo Handoyo) still wants to play or not? I said he does. So now don’t talk about problems for now, talk about the future.”

“At that time, I almost didn’t get in because I was ranked 17th in the world. Coincidentally, one South Korean player dropped out, so I was ranked 16th in the world,” said Taufik.

Each country may only enter a maximum of two players each in the men’s and women’s singles events if both are ranked in the top 16 in the world in the Race to Paris rankings.

Similar rules for singles also apply to players competing in doubles.

Each country can only enter a maximum of two pairs if both are ranked in the top eight.

Now Taufik hopes that his experience can help him as a mentor for Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics .

“That’s why the ranking doesn’t determine. At that time in 2004, the only ranking was Lin Dan (China). So I hope the mentor will only help, especially since Ginting has previous medal experience and that should be a motivation,” said Taufik.

“I hope they consider this the last Olympics. It won’t be four years before they play at the Olympics again. This is the biggest opportunity.”

As a mentor, the 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist said that what he would do was build the players’ spirit.

“Especially for this Olympics, especially the last one, it’s more about their spirit because for technique they already have their own coaches,” said Taufik.

“Forget about everything else and focus here first. The family is still there, but don’t make a fuss, it’s sensitive. Forget about dating and outside issues first.”

“The opportunity to have 4 months left is over, it can only be determined in the match. Having this ad hoc team can help, even though it’s not much.”

“You could say it’s too late, but it’s never too late. We all help. We don’t want badminton to drop, especially since there is a golden tradition in badminton ,” said Taufik.

As a mentor, Taufik admitted that he had not spoken directly with Jonathan and Anthony.

“I’m only in Jakarta today. I’m not optimal yet, but hopefully if they know I’m part of this team it can be a motivation. The good ones are taken, but if they have better ones, go ahead,” said Taufik.

“Just now I was chatting with the Secretary General (PBSI) that he was also from the election yesterday and I was also in West Java.”

“So the day after tomorrow they (Anthony and Jonathan) leave for Europe. Maybe communication can be done via chat or telephone, the important thing is priority in badminton .”

When asked to enter for men’s singles, Taufik saw that the players in this sector had beaten each other.

“(Viktor) Axelsen can also lose. He is a top player and has been growing too. He knows his priorities, so I hope Ginting and Jonatan know  his peak performance  and when he wants to take the title,” said Taufik.

The Indonesian badminton team will fly early to France ahead of the 2024 French Open on March 5-10.

Jonatan Christie and friends set off on Wednesday (28/2/2024) afternoon with the destination of the city of Chambly, 40 kilometers north of Paris.

Chambly is a commune in the Oise department which is planned to be a training camp for the Indonesian badminton team ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics .

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