Home2016Tontowi-Liliyana's gift to the people of Indonesia - mixed doubles gold medal...

Tontowi-Liliyana’s gift to the people of Indonesia – mixed doubles gold medal Inbox x

 

Indonesia celebrated its 71st Independence Day on Aug 17 – and the country's mixed doubles pair of Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir duly delivered the Rio Olympics gold to the people of Indonesia. A perfect gift.

Why? Indonesia have never won the mixed doubles gold since badminton made its debut in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics and winning the elusive mixed doubles gold in Rio Olympics is "very special" especially after the "gold drought" at the 2012 London Olympics where China swept all the five gold medals at stake.

Before this Indonesia won the men's and women's singles gold in Barcelona through Alan Budikusuma and Susi Susanti respectively. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 Indonesia struck gold in the men's doubles (Ricky Soebagdja-Rexy Mainaky); 2000 Sydney Olympics (Tony Gunawan-Candra Wijaya) in the men's doubles); 2004 Athens Olympics (Taufik Hidayat (in men's singles) and the men's doubles through Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan (2008 Beijing Olympics).

At the London Olympics hopes were placed on Tontowi-Liliyana but the pair not only fell in the semi-finals but also lost the bronze medal playoff against Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen.

In Rio they turned the London disappointment into a golden run which ended with the win over Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying – taking the gold with a 21-14, 21-12 win in 45 minutes. The Indonesians did not drop a set en-route to the elusive gold.

In their Group C matches Tontowi-Liliyana beat Australians Robin Middleton-Leanne Choo; Bodin Isara-Savitree Amitrapai (Thailand) and Peng Soon-Liu Ying. In the quarter-finals they beat compatriots Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (reigning All England champions) 21-16, 21-11 and in the semi-finals packed off defending champions and top seeds Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei of China 21-16, 21-15.

The rest is history and for their efforts in Rio they will be well rewarded – a cash reward of Rp5 billion as bonus plus a lifetime pension allowance of Rp20 million per month. A silver is worth Rp2 billion in bonus plus a pension allowance of Rp15 million while its RP1 billion in bonus and Rp10 million per month in pension.

"Winning the gold medal in Rio is very special. Indonesia never won the mixed doubles gold in previous Olympics…so it is history.

"The gold medal in Rio is our gift to the people of Indonesia as we celebrated our (71st) Independence Day (Aug 17)," said a jubilant Tontowi who celebrated the gold medal by going down on his knees to punch the floor.

Despite the defeat the Malaysians celebrated the silver – Malaysia's first in the mixed doubles. Prior to this no Malaysian pair has reached the final in this event.

"We gave our best as it was not good enough to win the gold medal match." said Peng Soon.

RESULT

MIXED DOUBLES FINAL

Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) beat Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 21-14, 21-12
 

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