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Dutch juniors have an Indonesian connection

Kamis, 28 Juli 2005 18:01:05
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Moch N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Spectators at the Milo Junior Championships could be forgiven for assuming that Lisa Malaihollo is a local player, or perhaps part of the diaspora of Indonesian badminton players to more lucrative training spots around the world.

I was born in the Netherlands, but my father Patrick Malaihollo is an Indonesian who became a Dutch citizen, while my mother Ciska is from Suriname, she said.

Still developing her game, the 18 year old beat local hopeful Purwaningsih on Tuesday, but lost in the second round against Kurniawan Sylvina of Djarum Kudus club.

Unlike other foreign players, she had a vocal support section of Indonesian relatives, including her visiting parents, in the stands.

She is not the only Indonesia related player on the Dutch squad; Yvonne Sie's parents are Indonesian-born Dutch citizens.

Her father came from Kediri while her mother is from Surabaya, both in East Java.

Seeded 5/8, Yvonne was upset in the first round on Tuesday, apparently put off her game by the strong draft at Tembau Sports Hall.

Despite their losses in Denpasar, both players have big dreams for the future.

I want to win the Olympic Games, said Lisa, who was introduced to the game at the age of four by her father.

I want the world championship and to play in the Uber Cup for the Netherlands, Yvonne said, referring to the women's team championship.

Lisa and Yvonne have grabbed a big share of the junior titles in their homeland. Lisa won the girls' doubles junior championship, was runner-up in the U-17 singles and also the girls' U-19 singles.

Yvonne won the girls' U-13 singles junior championship and, at the age of 15 last year, triumphed in the U-19 singles nationals.

Both teenagers enjoy the experience of playing in Asia.

We always play in Europe, like in Denmark, the Netherlands and England, but there aren't many chance to go to Asia. We know Asian badminton is much better than Europe, said Lisa.

Yvonne was not dismayed despite falling at the first hurdle.

I can do better in the future, she said.

Many other Indonesians have chosen to play for foreign teams, including Mia Audina, who now represents the Netherlands after marrying a Dutchman.

The girls demurred when asked if they would consider doing the opposite by playing for this country's lowly ranked women's squad.

We live in the Netherlands and the situation there is better than in Indonesia, Lisa said.

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