Payday for All-England Champs

By Ami Afriatni on 10:47 am Mar 19, 2014
Category Badminton, Sports
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From left: Shuttlers Mohammad Ahsan, Hendra Setiawan, Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir at an event in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JG Photo/Afriadi Hikmal)

Jakarta. The Indonesian men’s doubles and mixed doubles pairs who triumphed at the All-England championships earlier this month collected a hefty Rp 200 million ($$17,700) reward per player from their sponsors on Tuesday.

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan won the men’s doubles title at the world’s oldest badminton tournament on March 9, while Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir prevailed in the mixed doubles final of the competition.

In addition to the Rp 200 million given to each shuttler from the Djarum Foundation and e-commerce site blibli.com, Tontowi and Liliyana received an addition Rp 100 million each for notching up their third straight All-England championship.

The sponsors also handed out a bonus of Rp 10 million each to men’s doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi and mixed doubles coach Richard Mainaky.

“We want to thank all the players for their hard work to help bring the badminton pride back in Indonesia through their achievements at the All-England championships,” Yoppie Rosimin, the Djarum Foundation program director and head of the Indonesian Badminton Association’s marketing and sponsorship department, said at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Their success might also leave another question: When will the men’s and women’s singles players do the same? It is a big challenge for not only the PBSI, but also all of us,” Yoppie said.

Liliyana said she hoped the success and the incentive of a big payday would inspire the other players in the national side.

“I just hope our title will motivate not only the younger players, but also our peers in the men’s and women’s singles,” she said.

The last time that any Indonesian player won the men’s or women’s singles titles at the All-England was in 1994, when Haryanto Arbi and Susi Susanti prevailed in their respective draws.

Liliyana said she hoped to continue winning at the event.

“I hope that after this third title there will be a fourth, fifth, sixth and so on. We will always be hungry for more,” she said.

Liliyana and Tontowi’s win was their second straight All-England final against China’s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

Ahsan and Hendra’s win against Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa, meanwhile, marked the first men’s doubles title for an Indonesian team at the All-England since Candra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto won in 2003.

Victory also brought Hendra the last major title still missing from his remarkable resume, which already includes a gold medal from the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2007 and 2013 world championships, the 2006 Badminton World Cup and the 2010 Asian Games gold medal.