Written by: Neo Jie Yao
Photo by : Lim Sau Boon
Hardianto Kurniawan can usually be seen joking around with his teammates off the court. But beneath his jovial appearance lies nerves of steel which has helped him cope with the pressure of playing as the last singles player for Indonesia at the Badminton Men’s Team event.
“I’m the last singles player, single number third where its so hard to play sometimes. I must be mentally focused because if the score is 2-2 and I lose, the team loses,” said the 22-year-old.
Kurniawan then shared how he copes with the pressure, saying, “I just think of doing my best, win or lose is number two. The first thing is must pray and do my best.”
The devout Christian also listens to religious songs on the bus before matches to calm his nerves.
Kurniawan also stressed the importance of warming up properly before the game and says he spends at least 15 minutes to get his body into condition.
Despite the lack of teams at badminton, he praised the standards of the competition here saying, “I think this year only four teams joined, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia; and all are strong. In the morning the scores were all 3-2, very close and tough matches.”
The Management student at Universitas Bina Nusantara also expressed his pride at representing his nation, saying, “I feel happy joining this competition because I can play for my country.”
“I hope my team can be champions this tournament,” he added.
Having been in Singapore previously for badminton tournaments, Kurniawan has only one thing in mind after the competition ends – to visit Universal Studios Singapore.
He said, “This is my third time in Singapore but I have yet to go to Universal Studios. I want to go Universal Studios but I don’t think I can as I go back on the 18th.”