彩神趋势图Indonesia's top mixed doubles shuttler Lilyana bids farewell in last int'l appearance
JAKARTA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia's top mixed doubles female player Lilyana Natsir bid farewell on Sunday at the 2019 Indonesia Masters before her last match to vie against the defending champions Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong from China in the final.
In her farewell speech, Lilyana said that during her 24-year badminton career she had a lot of supports from the government, friends, colleagues, supporters, contributed many achievements to advance the nation's badminton sports.
"Today I declared my resignation from professional badminton athlete. I could not be a badminton athlete without their supports. Badminton has raised up my name," the 33-year-old broke into tears to deliver her farewell bid in the badminton arena of Istora Senayan.
Together with her partner Tontowi Ahmad, Lilyana has collected many titles from various international badminton tournaments that include world championships, World Cup, Asian championships and Southeast Asia championships.
She and Totowi earned 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal after trashed their Malaysian contenders Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying in the mixed doubles final.
"Throughout my service as a youth and sports minister, gold in Olympics was my most favorite moment (to recall Lilyana)," Indonesia Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nachrawi said.
In the same occasion, chairman of Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) Wiranto said that PBSI has no other option but to accept Lilyana's resignation.
He said that PBSI would focus on talent scouting and regeneration to find replacement for Lilyana's position.
Tontowi Ahmad/Lilyana Natsir now is seeded fourth in BWF's ranking.