Jakarta: The 2019 Indonesia Masters that began on Tuesday, January 22nd, will be the farewell tournament for Indonesian mixed doubles legend and the Rio Olympic gold medalist – Liliyana Natsir.
Natsir admitted she has mixed emotions playing in front of the home crowd.
“Bidding farewell in front of badminton fans at Istora will make me feel uneasy and sad. I will have to say goodbye to them, and this will certainly be the most difficult decision for me compared to playing the match,” said Natsir.
Natsir who was born in Manado, on September 9, 1985 said it’s going to be tough for her to quit the sport she loves.
“I have been in badminton for a dozen years and it’s very difficult for me to retire from the sport I love. This year’s Indonesia Masters not just a normal tournament for me, it’s going to be an emotional farewell to the fans and to my career,” added Natsir.
After her retirement, Natsir said she has no plan to join the Badminton Association of Indonesia or PBSI as a coach or a staff.
“I would like to refresh my mind and stay away from badminton for a while. I’ll need to focus on businesses that I have started three years ago, including spa, real estate, and currency exchange,” said the Rio Olympic gold medalist.
However, Natsir said she would still visit PBSI from time to time to share her experience with players at PBSI.
Together with Liliyana Natsir, another Indonesian mixed doubles player Debby Susanto will also retire at the end of this month.
The retirement of Liliyana Natsir also means that her partner, Tontowi Ahmad, would have to find a new partner before the Olympic qualify round starts in April 29, 2019.