Thursday March 7, 2013
Taufik’s last All-England outing ends on a sad note
INDONESIAN Taufik Hidayat bid a sad farewell to the All-England yesterday.
Except for the All-England, Taufik, who will turn 32 in August, has won every other major title – the Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games, Thomas Cup and other Open titles.
His last tournament will be the Indonesian Open in June before he quits the game for good.
Yesterday, the two-time All-England runner-up (in 1999 and 2000) got off to a great start, leading 11-2 in the opening game against Sho Sasaki of Japan.
However, his lack of fitness was evident and he lost 16-21, 11-21 in 37 minutes.
“This is my last All-England ... I did not play well. My concentration was not there,” lamented Taufik, who has played in the international scene for 15 years.
“Yes, I’m sad but it’s okay. I have tried. I can look back at my badminton career and know that I’ve won all the other majors ... that’s priceless and something money can’t buy,” he said.
With him out, and Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark and China’s Lin Dan absent from Birmingham, Taufik said it was time for Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei to rule the roost.
“Chong Wei is a class above. It will be a level playing field only when he retires. This is his chance to win all the majors as this is something missing from his collection,” he said.
The Indonesian’s only regret was the lack of youngsters coming through in his country.
“Who’s there after me? I’m still waiting.
“Simon Santoso and Sony Dwi Kuncoro have not lived up to my expectations and there are no other youngsters coming through.
“I guess it’s the same problem faced by Malaysia, Denmark and South Korea. Only China seem to have a handful of good players. I feel helpless as I do not have an answer or a solution to this,” he said before dejectedly walking out from the National Indoor Arena.