Indah Cahya Sari Jamil: Indonesia's next badminton superstar?
It seems like Indonesia's badminton conveyor belt never stops. The Southeast Asian country continues to produce some of the world's best young talents, including Indah Cahya Sari Jamil.
The 18-year-old doubles specialist Indah is already a three-time World Junior Championships medallist, and has been compared to Indonesian legend Rosiana Tendean and current mixed doubles world number one Huang Yaqiong of China.
With such high hopes for her, this bright prospect for the future is certainly one to watch.
Born in Makassar in South Sulawesi province, Indah is "one of their (Indonesia's) brightest mixed doubles prospects", according to a description by the Badminton World Federation of some rising future stars.
It came after she partnered Leo Rolly Carnando to world junior gold in 2018 and silver in 2019, as well as Asian Junior Championships gold.
But Indah didn't start out dreaming of doubles success. She first joined her local club, PB Djarum, playing singles in 2013 without much luck.
The then-11-year-old had to temper her expectations, and eventually joined the club's doubles section a year later.
Indah took up the sport thanks to her father, a physical education teacher at a local school and a badminton coach.
Standing at 164 cm, the teenager is roughly the height of China's Huang and exhibits a similar playing style.
Huang is a fleet-footed net player with quick reflexes, with many of her opponents unwilling to test her near the net for fear of being outwitted by the faster Huang. Indah showed off the same traits as she helped Indonesia to win the world junior championships team gold medal – the Suhandinata Cup – against China in 2019.
Tendean, meanwhile, is another Makassar native turned world champion. Tendean was part of the Indonesian team that won the 1994 Uber Cup (women's team world championship), and a three-time World Cup mixed doubles champion.
Indah's inspiration? Rio 2016 mixed doubles Olympic champion Liliyana Natsir, who Indah says she wants to emulate due to her fighting spirit.
"She doesn't give up easily, she has extraordinary enthusiasm, and she doesn't want to lose on the field," Indah told TVRI when asked to describe Natsir.
Indah, who currently has 115 mixed and women's doubles career wins to her name, is well on the path to following in her idol's footsteps.
The Olympic Games remain a goal for the future, but Indah's expected move to the senior ranks has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
There are big shoes for Indah to fill, but based on what the youngster has already achieved in her young career, it appears not a lot can stop her.
(Story thumbnail and banner photo credit Badminton Photo)