Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Susy Susanti, Indonesia`s former badminton athlete and gold medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics surprised the audience at the Opening Ceremony of the 18th Asian Games as she emerged and ignited the cauldron with the Asian Games torch.

Leading to the opening ceremony, held in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Saturday, the Games` Organizing Committee, INASGOC, have been tightlipped about who was chosen to light the cauldron, until the very last minutes.

Susy Susanti is not a foreign figure in Indonesia`s sports realm, as she is the first athlete to have won gold medals for Indonesia in the Olympics, along wiith Alan Budikusuma.

Along with her counterpart, Susanti was deemed as the golden pair, as not only they were able to bring home gold medals together, they also ended up building a life together as spouses in.

Susanti emerged as the last Asian Games torch bearer and igniter of the cauldron, after being passed around by former accomplished athletes, including Lanny Mulya (platform diving), Arief Taufan (karate), Yustejo Tarik (tennis), Supriati Sutono (athletics) and I Gusti Oka Sulaksana (sailing).

The procession of igniting the cauldron was rather unique, as torch bearers had to hike up a man-made hill that was built in the middle of the field in Gelora Bung Karno main Stadium, with the capacity of 80,000 spectators.

As the last torch bearer, Susanti also lit the cauldron herself, marking the beginning of such energetic event. The fire itself will be kept burning until the event is officially closed on September 2.

Susy Susanti won a golden medal in the Olympics 1992 in Barcelona, for the single-women category in badminton. At the time, it was the first time that badminton was included in the list of competition in the world`s largest sports event.

Susanti was able to beat South Korean athlete Bang Soo Hyun in the finals, which ended Indonesia`s longing for a gold medal after participating in the Olympics for 40 years.

Ever since then, the one of the gold medals for Indonesia in the Olympics started thriving. Up until the last Olympics, held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, badminton continued to be the sport that contributed gold medals to the nation.

Susanti also made her mark in history as part of the Indonesian team that won the Sudirman trophy. Thus far, it is the only victory that Indonesia had successfully achieved, which was when it was first held in 1989.

Although Indonesia`s badminton is on the top of its game and have made historical achievements in the international stage, even before Susy Susanti`s time, her presence in the nation`s sports realm still carry its own value.

She opened a new chapter of history in Indonesia`s sports, especially in badminton as she won the first Olympics gold medal for her beloved country.

The Asian Games committee had made the right call by choosing Susanti to ignite the cauldron flame for the 18th Asian Games.

Reporting by Atman Ahdiat
Editing by Aria Cindyara, Eliswan Azaly

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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