IO – For Indonesia’s men’s volleyball team coach Li Qiu Jiang, Indonesia is like a second home. The Chengdu, China-born man first coached Indonesia’s team in the 1997 SEA Games in Jakarta and brought the team a gold medal.
He returned to coaching Indonesia’s team in the 2003 SEA Games in Vietnam and the 2009 SEA Games in Laos. Finally, Li successfully brought Indonesia’s men’s team to the highest podium in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila after ten years of Indonesia failing to win a gold medal in the category.
“Confidence is the base. I am happy to have won four times. This time is even more special because we won three straight sets in the five games,” said Li.
He stated that he only asked the players to not be tense ahead of the finals against the host’s the Philippines. “Since the beginning I have been sure the players could win. I asked them not to be tense,” he said.
Mr. Li, as he is called by the players, had also coached the women’s national team in the 2005 and 2007 SEA Games. Li also often coached Indonesian clubs in the Proliga league. His last job was coaching Jakarta BNI Taplus.
“After not coming to Indonesia in a long time, last in 2014, I am happy to come back to Indonesia to coach BNI,” he said at the time.
After Proliga, Li returned to Chengdu but a few days later the Indonesia Volleyball Association (PBVSI) Executive Board Indoor Volleyball Division Head, Loudry Maspaitella, called him and asked him to coach the men’s national team which at the time had not coach.
“It wasn’t a week before I returned to Indonesia. This is my second country. I have many friends here,” he said when met at General Kunarto Volleyball Boarding School, Sentul, West Java, recently.
Interestingly, Loudry is also the manager of Jakarta BNI Taplus and a former national team player who was coached by Li when the team won a gold medal in the SEA Games.
Early on there was a plan to appoint a coach from South Korea but the plan was canceled and instead Mr. Li was decided to be the best coach.
“In a limited amount of time we needed a coach who knows the character of Indonesian players as is liked by the players. That was Mr. Li,” said Loudry.
The right choice resulted in a happy result. Thank you, Mr. Li! (rp)