Maulana/Fikri Filled with Optimism

Maulana/Fikri Filled with Optimism

Their second-place finish at the Swiss Open two weeks ago has brought Bagas Maulana/Muhammad Shohibul Fikri’s confidence flooding back ahead of a crucial week at the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC).

The continental championships in Ningbo, China present their Indonesians their final chance to grab a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

To accompany Indonesia’s No.1 pair Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto to France in July, Maulana/Fikri will need to finish in the top eight of the Race to Paris rankings. Currently, they are ninth, 2,279 points behind Liu Yu Chen/Ou Xuan Yi, who occupy the last spot in the safe zone.

“Becoming runners-up at the Swiss Open has done our confidence a world of good. It’s what we needed,” said Fikri. “As a result, we are pumped (going into BAC) and we are ready to fight.”

Despite finding themselves in the same half of the draw as Lee Yang/Wang Chi Lin, Kang Min Hyuk/Seo Seung Jae and Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Maulana is unperturbed.

“Our motivation is high to do well. We need to stay focused on the task. I’m optimistic,” enthused the 25-year-old.

Going two rounds deeper than the Chinese pair at the BAC will almost certainly guarantee Maulana/Fikri qualification.

“Hopefully at the very minimum we can replicate our result in Basel. But of course, higher is better,” said Fikri.

Maulana/Fikri open their BAC campaign against Thai pair Supak Jomkoh/Kittinupong Kedren. Liu/Ou meanwhile, face M.R Arjun/Dhruv Kapila in the first round but could run into Maulana/Fikri’s compatriots Leo Carnando Rolly/Daniel Marthin in the next match.

See the Race to Paris rankings here.