We are very grateful as our players gave us a special prize ..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Olympic champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir were warmly welcomed by the government and fellow citizens and their arrival to the home country was marked by a parade along the streets of Jakarta on Tuesday afternoon.

The gold medalist badminton duo, along with silver medalist weightlifters Eko Yuli Irawan and Sri Wahyuni, were received at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at around 4 p.m and taken on board a double decker bus, called the Bandros bus, for a parade along the streets of Jakarta before heading to the Ministry of Youth and Sports building.

On board the bus along with the Indonesian team were Minister of Youth and Sports Imam Nahrawi, Chair of Indonesias Badminton Association PBSI Gita Wirjawan and the Chief of Indonesian Contingent for 2016 Olympics Raja Sapta Oktohari.

"We are very grateful as our players gave us a special prize to mark Indonesias 71th Anniversary with their gold medal achievement," Minister Nahrawi said.

Ahmad and Liliyana emerged champions in the mixed double badminton in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after defeating the Malaysian duo in the final on the same day when the country was celebrating its Independence Day.

Indonesia closed the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil at 46th rank with one gold from badminton and two silver medals from weightlifting.

The government has promised large cash prizes to Indonesian athletes winning medals at the 2016 Olympics.

Ahmad and Liliyana will be given a cash bonus of five billion rupiah (roughly US$380 thousand) for bringing home a gold medal from the Olympic.

Meanwhile, the weightlifters will each be granted a cash bonus of two billion rupiah (roughly US$150 thousand) for the silver medals.

The government has also promised Olympics medalists a monthly allowance starting from Rp20 million for a gold medalist, Rp15 million for a silver medalists, and Rp10 million for a bronze medalist during their lifetime.

Another parade is scheduled for Olympic medalists on Wednesday morning, starting at 8:30 a.m from the Ministry of Youth and Sports building to General Sudirman Street, M.H. Thamrin Street and then straight to the Presidential Palace to meet President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

(Reporting by Imam Santoso/Uu.A059/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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