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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

FIRED UP AND READY

Susi Susanti looks like a smash success


A DAY IN THE life of Susi Susanti, star of the all-conquering Indonesian women's badmin-ton team and gold medalist at the Barcelona Olympics: Up at 5 in the morning for a jog. On the court by 6.30. Practice until lunch. A quick break, then run back to the court and keep running and hitting until late evening. Then run to bed. A Christmas holiday goes like this: Up early for church services. Morn-ing free. On the court after lunch. Stay there until dinner time. Susi has been engaged to Alan Budikusuma, winner of the men's gold medal at Barcelona, since those games. But they have been too busy to get married. "I don't feel my schedule is an annoyance," she says. "I have been doing it for such a long time."

Susi, 25, has been playing badminton, competitively and compulsively, since she was eight years old. In the lead-up to Atlanta, the reigning Olympic champion has been as competitive, and compulsive, as ever. She starred in an exhibition game with athletes from around the region in West Java in early May. Soon after, she led Indonesia to victory in the Uber Cup in Hong Kong. And then she left Jakarta for Atlanta, and more intense pre-Games training. Will it pay off? Yes, say the experts. Susi looks bound for gold. She has never been playing better.

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