Indonesia won an Olympic gold medal in only one sport: badminton.
The fourth most populous country in the world wins another badminton on Monday Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu took the gold medal in the women’s doubles event. It was Indonesia’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the eighth gold medal in Indonesian Olympic history. 15, providing precision shuttlecock hits combined with floating shots, scrambled opponents in vain. Towards the end of the match, Polii had to leave the field halfway to change his racquets due to a broken string, but he was victorious again.
Badminton is Indonesia’s national sport. Commuters take up every space they can find: clearings on palm oil plantations, piers on distant islands, or cement shards between skyscrapers. The number of medals in Olympic events is dominated by Asian countries such as China, Indonesia and Korea.
Polly, a 33-year-old badminton veteran who first appeared in London 2012, had an ominous start. . To get a better draw, she and her partner tried to lose the game early, the Olympic organizing committee decided. The Indonesian was disqualified along with several other groups.
Unsportsmanlike behavior has plagued badminton in recent months. This year, the sports association permanently banned three Indonesian players due to match-fixing and wagering. The other five were fined up to 12 years and suspended.
After Polii was gearing up for retirement in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when she and her former partner reached the quarterfinals. But Apriyani, 10 years younger than her, persuaded her to hold on to another Olympics. They entered the competition without seeds in Tokyo.
has made the country one of the most dangerous places in the world. Delta strains traverse huge archipelagoes with low vaccination rates. Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Gi nting competes in the men’s singles bronze medal match on Monday night, but her only hope remains for a gold medal in badminton. to Apriyani and Polii. (Indonesia also won a bronze medal in women’s weightlifting and is hoping for a medal in other women’s weightlifting as well.)
“The wait for gold is over this afternoon,” Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo wrote to the network community. “This victory is a gift of independence from Indonesia two weeks earlier.”
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, although there are quite a few people who believe in Christians and other religions. Doubles badminton players often come from mixed backgrounds, such as Muslim Apriyani and Christian Polii, while sectarian tensions have simmered over the years, with sometimes fatal consequences.
After the pair’s victory on Monday, Muslim party politicians congratulated them on Twitter.
“This gold medal is a sweet gift for Indonesia, which is still fighting the pandemic,” wrote Mardani Ali Sera, a member of the prosperous Justice Party. “Thank you to all Indonesian players who fought and are still fighting. Indonesians are supporting you and praying for you. “
Muktita Suhartono contributed the report.