Friday, 28th November 2014

Indonesian badminton athletes get no single medal in London

Jumat, 3 Agustus 2012 23:00 WIB | 1.583 Views
Indonesian badminton athletes get no single medal in London
Tontowi Ahmad (right) with Liliyana Natsir (left) in Olympic Games London 2012. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Their success in securing a place in the quarterfinal round in the badminton mixed doubles event of the Olympic Games in London did not trigger Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir pair to gain a bronze medal.

Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir were defeated by Denmark`s mixed doubles Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen 12-21, 12-21 in Wembley Arena, London on Friday.

It is the first time since badminton was competed in the Barcelona Olympic games in 1992 that none of the country`s badminton athletes grabbed a medal.

Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir pair confessed about their bad performance in facing the Denmark`s mixed doubles.

"Today we played under our performance, while Denmark played very well, they rarely made mistakes," Liliyana said following the game.

According to her, the pair felt down after badminton failed to grab gold medal as it was set in a target before arriving in London.

"We offer an apology after losing gold and bronze medals," said Liliyana, who grabbed silver medal in pair with Nova Widianto in Beijing olympic game four years ago.

Tontowi/Liliyana was expected to be able to win a gold medal to maintain the country`s tradition of winning golds in the Olympics.

On Sunday, Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir secured a place in the quarterfinal round after beating South Korean Lee Yong Dae and Ha Jung Eun in the badminton mixed doubles event.

Tontowi/Liliyana defeated the South Korean pair in a straight set 21-19, 21-12, while they beat the Indian pair 21-16, 21-12.

This was the second victory made by the Indonesian pair in the preliminary round in Group C following their win over Indian pair Diju V/Jwala Gutta the day before that assured them a place in the quarterfinals.

Tontowi/Lilyana who are ranked fourth in the world were scheduled to meet Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl from Denmark in the next match to seek a group champion.

Earlier former national badminton player Sigit Budiarto said Indonesia`s badminton mixed double players actually would have the biggest potential to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games in London, July 27-August 12.

"I saw Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir have a bigger chance to win a gold compared to other players," he said when asked for his comment in Semarang, Central Java.

The pair is now ranked fourth in the world after China`s Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei and Xu Chen/Ma Jin also from China and Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen from Denmark.

Their latest achievement was an All England champion, a Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold champion and an India Open Super Series champion.

The government will provide Rp1 billion in bonus to each of its athletes who win a gold medal in Olympic Games 2012.

"The government is allocating Rp1 billion for each athlete winning a gold medal, Rp400 million for a silver and Rp200 million for a bronze," said Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Andi Mallarangeng after seeing off the Indonesian contingent at the state palace here on Monday.

The minister said it was traditional to give bonuses to athletes who were able to bring fame and make the nation proud at the international arena.

In line with this move, the government has set aside Rp26.6 billion in funds to support the Indonesian contingent in the Olympic Games.

Indonesia sent a total of 21 athletes playing seven sports in the London Olympic Games.

Before leaving for London, Andi called on the athletes to do their best and bag medals to realize their collective dream at the venue. He added that although the number was not as big as for other countries, they could still make their country proud if they strive hard.

The number of members in the contingent is smaller than that for the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008 which saw the participation of 24 athletes. Indonesia`s medal tally during the last Olympics was one gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

The Indonesian contingent for this year`s Olympic Games includes Taufik Hidayat who won a gold medal in men`s singles in badminton at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Simon Santoso who played in the men`s single and Ardiyanti Firdasari who played in women`s single.
(T.B003/S012/KR-BSR)