Home2021Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu Write History

Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu Write History


Since badminton was held as an official Olympic sport at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Indonesia has won seven gold medals. However, there is one event that they have not been able to achieve a gold medal in, and that’s in the women's doubles category.


Let alone qualify for the finals, Indonesia has never been to the semifinals. But at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Indonesian pair Gresyia Polii / Apriyani Rahayu were able to succeed, come out as champions, and win gold. 


In the final match which was held at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo, Monday (2/8/2021), Gresyia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu won straight games 21-19, 21-15 over the Chinese doubles Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan who were the second seed. Even though it was two games, the match between the two pairs took a long time at 55 minutes.


For Gresyia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu, this victory also reduced their loss against Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan to 4-6. In addition, these results also ended Indonesia's gold drought at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Previously, Indonesia has only gotten one silver medal and three bronze medals, all came from weightlifting.


The results achieved by Gresyia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu also continue Indonesia's gold medal tradition at the Olympics. Since badminton was first competed in Barcelona in 1992, it was only in London 2012 when Indonesia failed to win gold.


In 1992, Indonesia won gold through Alan Budikusuma in the men's singles and Susi Susanti in the women's singles. In the following Olympic Games, gold medals came from Ricky Soebagja/Rexy Mainaky (men's doubles in Atlanta 1996), Tony Gunawan/Candra Wijaya (men's doubles, Sydney 2000), Taufik Hidayat (men’s singles, Athens 2004), Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (men's doubles, Beijing 2008), and Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (mixed doubles, Rio 2016).


What makes this victory sweeter is the fact that even before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were held, Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu was not amongst the top seeds. In world rankings, they are only in sixth position in the world, while Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan are in third place.


Even during the group stage, Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu was predicted to only make it past the group stage. This is because they are in the same group as Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota who are the first seed. Amazingly, in the last match to win Group A, Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu defeated the world champion by 24-22, 13-21, 21-8 and kept moving forward until they took a stand at the podium today, giving a salute to Indonesia’s flag with the national anthem playing in the stadium.


Congratulations to Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu for winning a very well-deserved Olympic gold medal!



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