Badminton Players Defy Unrest in Indonesia

Four Danish badminton players have arrived in Surabaya, Indonesia – about 300 kilometers from the earthquake-hit city of Yogykarta – to take part in this week’s Indonesian Open. The tournament takes place in the midst of troublesome times for the host nation, however that has not kept the Danish team from participating in the major Grand Prix tour.
     Denmark’s foreign ministry is currently advising Danes to refrain from all unecessary trips to Indonesia due to the overhanging risk of terror as well as the recent unrest over the Danish cartoon drawings of Mohammed. In addition, the very city that the Danish team is staying in has recently had human casualties as a result of the bird flu outbreak.
     One of Denmark’s best single players has assured the Danish media that the players are conducting themselves with great care, but also that they have seen nothing unusual so far after arriving in Surabaya.
     “We knew the situation before we left Denmark, and if we thought there was a risk, then we wouldn’t have left,” Kenneth Jonassen states.
     “We dont leave the hotel much, and we try to keep a low profile. But that’s how it’s been for several years now, when we’ve been in Indonesia. We’re keeping calm, and if we are out shopping, we take a taxi home. We only go to the good restaurants, and we just went dining with some Indonesians. Everybody has given us a great reception,” he adds.

Players’ Own Decision
The national coach of the Danish team, Mr. Steen Pedersen, admits that there is a certain risk involved with participating in this year’s Indonesian Open, but he emphasizes that the decision to go was made by the players themselves.
     Besides Kenneth Jonassen the Danish team consists of the double players Lars Paaske, Thomas Laybourn, and Helle Nielsen. The additional Danish top-players will join the team in Singapore for next week’s Singapore Open.

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