Jonatan Christie and Anthony Ginting aiming for Thomas Cup return

Men's world team championships takes priority over BWF World Tour events for the Indonesian shuttlers.

By ZK Goh

Jonatan Christie and Anthony Ginting have their sights set on this year’s Thomas Cup - the men’s badminton world team championships.

Speaking to the Olympic Channel as they led an Olympic Day Workout on the @OlympicChannel Instagram from a local running track in Indonesia, the badminton stars said the forthcoming re-start of the BWF World Tour was not at the forefront of their thinking.

“We will focus on the Thomas Cup first, because it’s a really important tournament for us and also for the Indonesian team,” Christie said.

Indonesia were knocked out by eventual champions China in the last edition in 2018.

Hectic schedule

Should the Indonesians decide to play the BWF World Tour, they face a schedule which sees a tournament take place every week from 1 September, when the Chinese Taipei Open Super 300 begins.

It will not be anything new for either Christie or Ginting, who experienced playing multiple competitions in a short span of time before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed as they attempted to rack up qualification points.

“For almost one year we had a lot of tournaments,” Ginting explained. “The schedule was very, very busy and in a month, we had two or three tournaments.

"So of course, we felt very tired and bored, but that’s what we had to do because we wanted to go to the Olympics.

“Luckily, we have already qualified for the Olympics, that’s why we will try to focus on the Thomas Cup.”

The Thomas Cup is scheduled to take place in Aarhus, Denmark, from 3-11 October.

Strong mind, strong body

Ginting and Christie are currently world number six and seven respectively and admitted they would like to climb the rankings.

Japan’s Momota Kento has not been knocked off top spot since September 2018.

“Every player wants to be number one,” Ginting said. “But I still have many things to improve on for the future.”

Christie added: “It’s not easy to be number one.”

One way of improving? Developing their mental game further, according to Christie.

“You can control your body with a strong mind, but you can’t control your mind with a strong body,” he said.