Top Chinese players All came from Indonesia05 March, 2018
A great deal has been made during the past year or two of the very high standard reached by the leading players from the Peoples Republic of China, a fact of which there can be doubt at all.
But what has not been given quite the publicity that it might have been is that nearly all the leading Chinese players were originally Indonesians and learned the game in their native country, mostly under totally different names.
We are indebted to two Asian journalists, Messrs. Budi Susilo of Jakarta and Anton Pereira of Bangkok, for ferreting out the facts, which had of course been rumoured in the past. The latter, with the help of the former, tabulated the details in a recent issue of the Bangkok Post. We present the following essential news of the careers of the players.
Hou Chia-chang, the present champion of China, who is now well over 30, was the champion of Central Java under his original name of Houw Ka Tjong before he left Indonesia for China some ten years ago. Tang Hsien-hu, China's No. 2 player, was known as Thing Hian Houw when he was the leading Indonesian junior in the late fifties. He came from Jakarta itself and actually represented Indonesia in the Malayan Open Championships before migrating north.
Fang Kai-hsiang, probably the third strongest Chinese, was formerly called Hong Gay Siong, and he came from Surabaya in East Java.
Fang's partner, Chen Tien-hsiang, is a native of Solo in Central Java. He is the youngest of those already mentioned, but can only be a few months short of 30, if indeed he is under that age.
Those are the four men players who made such a wonderful impression in Europe at the beginning of 1973 as well as elsewhere since then.
A fifth man on some of China's recent teams is Wu Chun-sheng, who in his Indonesian days was called Go Tjoen Sing.
He also came from Central Java where he learned the game.
China's present lady champion, Miss Chen Yu-niang, is also an Indonesian by birth, though when she left her native country she had not yet reached international class.She was then known as Miss Tan Giok Nio.
The second strongest lady in China, Miss Liang Chiu-hsia, is the only one of the emigres who did not change her name. She hailed from Cirebon in West Java and is the eldest sister of Indonesian's own Tjun Tjun. She was an Indonesian Uber Cup trialist in 1966.
With only one or two others, it is these players who have established China's great reputation at Badminton, and though all learned the game in Indonesia and reached a certain high standard there, there can be no doubt that every one of them has improved very much since going to China.
The fact remains, however, that these migrated players, whilst perhaps at their very peak now, are not likely to get any better in view of their present age. In any case, their present standard makes one wonder whether any improvement would be possible!
What is such a great pity is that none of them is at present eligible to compete in the various international championships staged all over the world because their parent association, the Badminton Association of the Peoples Republic of China, is not yet a member of the International Badminton Federation.
Another thought that lends itself is the incredible fact that one country, Indonesia, could have produced all of the vast number of world class players which it has done. Don't forget that she still has such renowned players as Rudy Hartono, Tjun Tjun, Christian, Muljadi, Miss Utami Dewi, et al, and that Indonesia is the present holder of the Thomas Cup and was also a finalist in both of the last two contests for the Uber Cup.
-- World Badminton, June 1974