BWF Mourns Passing of Justian Suhandinata

BWF Mourns Passing of Justian Suhandinata

BWF mourns the death of Honorary Life Vice-President Justian Suhandinata, who passed away on Friday 4 November in Bangkok following a stroke.

Suhandinata was a longtime administrator and pioneering figure of Indonesian and world badminton. Among his great contributions was the establishment of the World Junior Championships.

The seed of this event was planted with the Jakarta Open Junior Championships in the mid-1980s, with Suhandinata securing sponsorships and inviting all the best junior players worldwide. This tournament was the forerunner to the World Junior Championships.

Justian Suhandinata with the Indonesian Sudirman Cup team in 1997.

Suhandinata convinced the BWF Council that the event was sustainable, leading to the introduction of the first official World Junior Championships in Jakarta in 1992. (Incidentally, the 22nd edition of the BWF World Junior Championships was completed in Spain on 30 October 2022, a few days before Justian’s untimely demise.)

One of the grandest trophies in badminton – the Suhandinata Cup – awarded for the World Junior Mixed Team Championships, is named after Justian’s father Suharso Suhandinata, who was a widely-admired badminton administrator and diplomat.

While condoling Suhandinata’s death, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said: “It is less than two weeks ago that the Suhandinata Cup was lifted by Team Korea as champions of the 22nd edition of the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships in Santander. The magnificent trophy that was gifted to the BWF in 2009 is part of Justian’s legacy and we are very grateful to him and the whole Suhandinata family for this.”

Justian, one of Suharso’s four sons, was an accomplished badminton figure in his own right. He was a driving force in the Indonesian Badminton Association for more than 40 years, and had served it as Vice-President from 1985 to 1993.

Suhandinata receives the citation for Honorary Life Vice-President from BWF President Poul Erik Høyer.

Suhandinata’s own club in Jakarta – Tangkas Badminton Club – is one of the strongest badminton clubs in Indonesia, having trained and developed more than 2000 players from over 70 countries for over three decades. His club has also produced some of Indonesia’s top national players, including Rexy Mainaky and Jonatan Christie.

Suhandinata was first elected as Council Member of the International Badminton Federation in 1986 and was subsequently Vice-President from 1992 to 2002. He was Chairman of the Development Committee during the establishment of the World Academy. He was subsequently reelected in 2009 for another four-year term on Council.

He was conferred the title of Honorary Life Vice-President on 20 May 2017 during the BWF Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Gold Coast, Australia. The citation paid tribute to Suhandinata as “an extraordinary contributor to our world of badminton”.

Suhandinata is survived by his wife Poppy Tumengkol (a former Indonesian Uber Cup player in 1969 and 1972), four children and seven grandchildren.