Millions of Indonesians agreed with the reaction of legendary badminton player Susi Susanti on the success of the Indonesian team in winning two gold medals in a prestigious world championship on Sunday. Indonesia was once a superpower in badminton before being beaten in international arenas in the last several years.
“It’s a great pleasure to see their achievements after a long year of title drought. This year we can see that Indonesian badminton has started to resurge. It’s a great moment,” 1992 Barcelona Olympic gold medalist Susi Susanti told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
Susi, who won Indonesia’s first Olympic gold medal in Barcelona 21 years ago, was a perfect representative to describe the pride of Indonesians with the victory at the 2013 Badminton World Championship in Guangzhou, China. Her then boyfriend Alan Budikusuma – now husband – also won a gold medal in the same single category in Barcelona.
Millions of Indonesians who were still in Idul Fitri festive mode last week were excited with the amazing victory of the Indonesian badminton players. Asked about the victory he and his partner Hendra Setiawan secured at the 2013 BMW World Championships on Sunday, badminton player Mohammad Ahsan said, “Alhamdulillah [Thank God]”.
Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir defeated China’s Xu Chen and Ma Jin in the mixed doubles, while Ahsan and his partner Hendra beat Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark. It was an incredible achievement and hopefully Indonesians will be able to regain top positions in the categories of men and women’s singles and women’s doubles after being put through an embarrassing disqualification at the London Olympics.
What were the keys to the win? One of the main factors that helped Indonesia to such an achievement in the prestigious Badminton World Championships according to Susi was the right partners to play in the doubles event.
“Tontowi and Hendra have met their right partners on court as they both played with senior athletes. Liliyana and Hendra are players that can show their leadership on court. They can help their partners play better and calmer,” she said.
The achievement has surpassed the one-gold medal target set by the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) chairman Gita Wirjawan who played a strategic role in creating a competitive but also a conducive atmosphere among the country’s top shuttlers. He was elected to lead the sports body in September last year.
“These achievements are the result of maximum efforts by our athletes. Unfortunately we do not have titles from [three] other events, but overall we can see that they are improving,” Gita said as quoted by Antara news agency.
We also should not forget the role of sponsors like an instant noodle maker giant and also the intensive participation of other economic giants like a cigarette producer in supporting players at national or club levels. National and international competitions are more frequent now.