Indonesia’s gold doubles win badminton’s first Olympic gold medal

Indonesian Olympic badminton crew with Alan Budikusuma (left) and Susie Susanti within the foreground. (Photograph: Peter Charlesworth/LightRocket through Getty Photographs)

by Chia Han Keong

Indonesia has lengthy been acknowledged as a badminton powerhouse nation. And when the game was lastly included within the Olympics on the 1992 Barcelona Video games, there was a lot pleasure within the Southeast Asian nation.

In spite of everything, it had not gained a single gold medal regardless of having participated within the Video games since 1952. Its solely medal till 1992 was a ladies’s crew archery silver on the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

So badminton was thought-about Indonesia’s finest likelihood to land that elusive gold. And it got here to Barcelona’s duly, however populous nation’s shock that it gained not one, however two gold medals within the sport – in each males’s and ladies’s singles occasions.

There was additionally a second shock for Indonesian badminton followers. Whereas ladies’s singles winner Susie Susanti was extensively seen as the perfect feminine shuttler on the planet, followers thought the lads’s singles gold could be gained by then-World Cup winner Ardi Viranata.

As a substitute it was his less-distinguished compatriot Alan Budikusuma – who was relationship Susanti on the time – who gained the gold medal by defeating Viranata within the remaining.

It nonetheless made for an important “golden couple” story, particularly after Budikusuma and Susanti’s wedding ceremony in 1997. And his double gold-winning effort was celebrated wildly in Indonesia, with a two-hour parade in Jakarta attended by practically 1 million. The pair return after the video games

change of destiny

Nonetheless, it was all doom and gloom just some months earlier in Could, as Indonesia flopped within the prestigious Thomas and Uber Cup crew competitions in Kuala Lumpur.

Sushant couldn’t single-handedly carry the weak ladies’s crew as they suffered a 1-4 loss within the semi-finals of the Uber Cup. Nevertheless, Budikusuma confronted extreme criticism for being upset with Malaysia’s Phu Kok Keong, because the Indonesia males’s crew was overwhelmed 2–3 by the hosts within the Thomas Cup remaining.

“I assumed it might be higher to simply cease. As a result of on the time, I wasn’t certain of myself,” Budikusuma instructed CNN in a function interview this yr. “However I did not like Susie, her mother and father, the coaches, and[the former Indonesian]Shuttler) helped with a dialog with Eddie Kurniawan.

“I used to be inspired to return to coaching. I started to imagine that shedding couldn’t go on. A very powerful factor is tips on how to overcome defeat.”

And so the Indonesian shuttler rushed to Barcelona, ​​determined for the failures of his Thomas and Uber Cups. Susanti began her ladies’s singles match impressively, beating all her opponents with out dropping a set within the remaining, the place she confronted South Korea’s Bang Soo-hyun.

Regardless of not ending within the high 4 seeds within the competitors, Budikusuma additionally struck a wealthy vein of type. He additionally didn’t miss a set to achieve the ultimate, though he had a troublesome struggle with Denmark’s Thomas Stuer-Lridsson within the semi-finals.

With Viranata within the remaining, Indonesia have been assured of males’s singles gold, and Budikusuma admitted that a large load had been taken off their shoulders. And he was assured of defeating his extra illustrious compatriot, as he had a greater one-off report with Viranata.

Susanti’s remaining match preceded Budikusuma’s remaining, and a tense Budikusuma was making an attempt to regulate his girlfriend whereas she was in her warm-up zone. Issues did not get any higher when Sushant dropped the primary set 5-11 with a bang.

Nevertheless, Budikusuma stated that she nonetheless believes in him, as she typically begins gradual and turns into more practical in her matches later. Certain sufficient, Susanti discovered her contact and struggled to win the subsequent two units 11-5 and 11-3. Indonesia lastly broke its golden duck on the Olympics.

began the sport on excessive

Excited for Susanti’s historic win, Budikusuma went on to the lads’s singles remaining believing, “If Susie can win, I can too.”

And he did it by beating Viranata 15-12, 18-13 for Indonesia’s second gold on the Video games. The Indonesia story pair was profitable.

Indonesian badminton players and husband and wife, Susie Susanti and Alan Budikusuma (with a torch), start their race during the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Jakarta.

Indonesian badminton gamers and husband and spouse, Susie Susanti and Alan Budikusuma (with a torch), begin their race in the course of the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Jakarta. (Photograph: Reuters/Businessman)

After their marriage and sports activities retirement, Susanti and Budikusuma based a badminton membership in Jakarta in addition to a sports activities gear firm.

Additionally they had three youngsters; When the eldest son was born in 1999, there was a sequence of civil outbreaks and violence in Indonesia. Susanti decides to call her son Laurencia Averina Viratama, which suggests “peace” – within the hope that he’ll deliver peace to the nation.

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