Olympic gold medal is gift on Indonesian Independence Day

Olympic gold medal is gift on Indonesian Independence Day

Tontowi Ahmad (left) and Liliyana Natsir are biting gold medal badminton mixed doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday (August 17, 2016). (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Alhamdulillah (Thank God), gold. Thank you Owi. Thank you Butet."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia received one of the most memorable gifts on its Independence Day, when its shuttlers Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir bagged the countrys first gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 17.

"This success is a gift for the Indonesian Independence Day celebration," Tontowi Ahmad, popularly known as Owi, said after he and his partner, Liliyana Nasir alias Butet, defeated Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the badminton mixed doubles final in straight games, 21-14, 21-12.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) lauded the duo for winning the gold medal in the badminton mixed doubles final at the 31st Olympics.

"Finally, we heard Indonesia Raya (Indonesian national anthem) at the Rio 2016 Olympics," Jokowi tweeted on his Twitter account.

"Gold medal from Tontowi Ahmad & Lilyana Natsir. Congratulations! - Jkw," he tweeted.

Owi and Butet were calm, solid, and mature during the match.

"Playing on the Independence Day, in fact, boosted our energy and spirits to deliver our best," Butet emphasized.

Born in Banyumas, Central Java, on July 18, 1987, Owi thanked over 100 Indonesian supporters, including Indonesian Ambassador to Brazil Toto Riyanto, who watched the match in the Riocenro badminton arena in Brazil.

"I am thankful to Allah SWT. This is the most beautiful gift to us and all Indonesian people on the occasion of Independence Day. Thank you for all the support," he affirmed.

Born in Manado, North Sulawesi, on September 19, 1987, Butet shared Tontowis dream to win an Olympic gold medal.

Butet and Tontowi had worked hard to realize their dream and were the world champions in 2013 and the All England champions for three consecutive years, in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi also expressed pride and happiness on his Twitter account.

"Alhamdulillah (Thank God), gold. Thank you Owi. Thank you Butet. Indonesia is proud. INDONESIAq #RI71 #IndonesiaBisaEmas," he tweeted.

"Tontowi and Liliyana, you are extraordinary. Thank you. You have given the best for the nation on the 71st anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day. You are indeed great," the minister stated in Jakarta in a message to the pair.

From Jakarta, the minister also called the pair after the game to tell them that "Tontowi and Liliyana, you are extraordinary. Thank you. You have given the best for the nation in the 71st anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day. You are indeed great."

Minister Imam Nahrawi, his deputy, Gatot S. Dewa Broto, Head of the ministrys Public Relations Department Agus Prayitno, and Head of the Public Relations and Legal Affairs Bureau Amar Ahmad cut their hair after Indonesia grabbed the gold medal as a mark of their happiness and gratitude.

"After waiting for eight years, finally, we are able to win another gold medal. Therefore, we are grateful for this achievement," Minister Nahrawi, who also cut his mustaches, remarked.

The 2016 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, and commonly known as Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to 21 , 2016.

According to the Rio Olympic Medal standings on Aug. 18 morning, the US has won 30 gold medals, followed by the UK (19), China (19), Russia (12), and Germany (12).

Indonesia is in the 39th in the medal table on Aug. 18 morning.

The countrys first Olympic medal came from weightlifter Sri Wahyuni Agustiani, who won a silver medal, in the womens 48-kilogram (kg) category on August 6.

"I am pleased to be able to win a silver medal, just several days before my birthday," Wahyuni, who was born in Bandung, on August 13, 1994, stated.

Sopita Tanasan of Thailand won the gold medal, Sri Wahyuni grabbed the silver, and Japans Hiromi Miyake, competing in her fourth Olympics, bagged the bronze.

Sri Wahyuni lifted a total weight of 192 kg; Tanasan lifted 200 kg; and Hiromi, 188 kg.

The three Asian female athletes competed fiercely in the sports event held at the Riocentro stadium.

Earlier, Wahyuni, a student of the Faculty of Law in the University of Bhayangkara, Bekasi, West Java, had attempted to lift 115 kg in clean and jerk for the gold medal but failed.

Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, Chairman of the Indonesia Olympic Committee Erick Thohir, and Chairman of the Indonesian Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding Association Rosan Ruslani were present during the weightlifting competition.

"Sri Wahyuni has made notable progress, particularly after training in South Africa last month," Manager of the Indonesian weightlifting squad Alamsyah Wijaya remarked.

It was Wahyunis first Olympic appearance. Her achievements include a silver medal in the 2014 Asian Games and a gold medal in the 2013 SEA Games.

Wahyunis parents, Candiana and Rosita, were delighted to hear the news of their daughter winning the first medal for Indonesia.

Her mother shed tears of joy, according to her father Candiana.

Wahyuni has worked hard for the last eight years to pursue a career as a professional weightlifter, he affirmed.

"Alhamdulilah, thanks to her hard work, Si Eneng (Wahyuni) has, so far, won 32 medals in domestic and overseas events. She mostly stood first or second in every competition," he stated.

In the field of sports, Wahyuni had debuted as a marathon runner.

In the meantime, the second silver medal for Indonesia was won by weightlifter Eko Yuli Irawan in the mens 62 kg category.

Competing in Pavilion 2 of the Riocentro sports complex, Eko lifted a total of 312 kg in his two competition lifts: 142 kg in snatch and 170 kg in clean and jerk.

Having won a gold and two silver medals in the Olympic Games, so far, Indonesia is currently ranked higher than its neighbors --- Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam --- but is still behind Thailand that has won two gold medals.

The youth and sports ministry is expected to give bonuses to the Olympic medalists.

The ministry has promised a reward of Rp5 billion for each gold medalist and Rp2 billion for each silver medalist.

The Indonesian Badminton Association has also vowed to give them bonuses.

Moreover, the Indonesian Weightlifting and Body Building Association will give a house each to the silver medalists.
(T.F001/INE/KR-BSR)

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