Jakarta: Indonesia’s 2016 Rio Olympic mixed doubles champion Tontowi Ahmad has decided to retire from badminton at the age of 32, nearly four years after successfully winning the Olympic gold medal partnering Liliyana Natsir.
Ahmad was Indonesia’s mixed doubles legend. He and Liliana Natsir have won a lot of prestigious tournaments together, including the 2013 and 2017 BWF World Championships, the 2015 Asian Championships, and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. They have also won a total of 16 Superseries titles and 16 Grand Prix titles.
From 2012 to 2014, Ahmad and Natsir were so dominant that they have won the All England three consecutive years.
Natsir, who retired from badminton after the 2019 Indonesia Masters, took to social media to congratulate her partner for the retirement.
“Happy retirement, my former partner. Every athlete will have to retire from their sport someday. Today, Owi (Tontowi Ahmad’s nickname) retires, I believe it must be a tough decision for Owi. I know because I’ve gone through this myself,” wrote Natsir.
Ahmad was paired with youngster Winny Oktavina Kandow early last year in hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, but their best results were reaching quarter-finals of the tournaments. He then formed a different partnership with Apriyani Rahayu, but they were stopped in the second round of the 2020 Indonesia Masters.
Ahmad posted on his social media on Monday with the message below:
“Now it’s time to say goodbye to this sport, which I have been playing since I was a kid. I have a colorful life, although it has its ups and downs, I am proud of what I have achieved, and I have fulfilled the aspirations of my parents and family.”
“I was hoping that I could stand on the podium again to end my career, but unfortunately life is not always what I want it to be, especially in light of the current situation and conditions. In any case, I am pleased with my status. I also want to thank everyone who has been supporting my badminton career. I cannot mention all of them here. It is time for me to strive for achievements in other fields.”
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