Fajar Alfan/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, Indonesia’s number one badminton Men’s Doubles pair – “Tis year’s competition will be fiercer”

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Fajar Alfan and Rian
Fajar Alfan and Muhammad Rian Ardianto, Indonesian top Men’s Doubles pair – and currently the number one pair worldwide. (IO/Muhammad Hidayat)

Jakarta, IO – Indonesian badminton Men’s Doubles pair Fajar Alfan/ Muhammad Rian Ardianto ended 2022 by becoming the world number one, with a total of 88,655 points, much higher than the pair they ousted to second place, Japan’s Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi, with their 82,700 points. 

This achievement was made thanks to their consistently excellent performance throughout 2022. Despite crashing in the early stages of the first two tourneys of last year, Fajar/Rian successfully redeemed themselves by getting into eight BWF World Tour Finals and winning four of them. They won a bronze in the 2022 World Cup, and made it to the Semi Finals in both BWF World Tour Finals 2022 and 2022 Asia Championship. Naturally, they are glad and grateful for the achievement: 

“One thing for sure, we’re really happy and grateful. Initially, we planned to finish the year in the Top Three, but alhamdulillah, praised be Allah, we exceeded our target. We need to keep this performance level up,” Fajar said. 

“Thank God, alhamdulillah, we became number right at the end of the year – there are just no words to say. It’s definitely the result of the hard work on both our parts, as well as the great support given to me by the coaching and support teams. It’s been our best year as a pair – we only hope to maintain the consistency of our performance, and enjoy ourselves more in each match,” Rian added. 

Fajar/Rian admitted to the surprising keys to their success in the past year: 

“We never expected to be number one, because we simply focused on enjoying the matches and did not worry too much about results. When we won, we did not get complacent; when we lost, we immediately evaluated our play,” Rian said. 

“The key is just focusing on the match at hand. We didn’t think too far ahead, but we work to continue improving our play every chance we had,” Fajar added. 

For their part, Fajar/Rian believe that the overall competition among Men’s Doubles pairs will only get fiercer in 2023: “Things will definitely get tighter in 2023, as we will have to undergo the point count for qualification in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. One thing for sure, we cannot afford to get careless and complacent with our achievement so far,” Fajar said. 

Read: Indonesian men’s badminton team wins first gold in ASEAN Para Games 2022

“Obviously, all players will focus on getting the number one title away from our hands. We don’t want to get it into our heads that we’re ‘number one’ now, because it’s just a temporary ranking – anyone can win or lose once they get in the field. So we just need to maintain our focus and continue to enjoy the game. The higher you get in any field, the bigger the challenge you face. We just need to prepare our mental state for that,” Rian declared. 

Fajar/Rian are now back on the grind at the Cipayung National Joint Practice Hall, East Jakarta, preparing for their first tournaments in 2023, the Malaysia Open. The tournament, part of the BWF World Tour Super 1000 that’s one level higher than the BWF World Tour Super 750, will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 10-15 January. (rp)