Jakarta (Antara News) - Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad as well as Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan who recently won champion titles in the World Badminton Championship in China were paraded in the city on Sunday.

A lot of fans joined the parade along with Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Roy Suryo and the chief of the Indonesian Badminton Association, Gita Wirjawan.

"This is meant for triggering other athletes to also become world champions like Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan," the minister said after the parade that took place from Sarinah to Hotel Indonesia roundabout during a Sunday car-free day on the capital city`s Thamrin main thoroughfare.

Tontowi/Liliyana recently won the world champion title from the mixed double event while Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan from the men`s double.

Indonesia has long waited for the titles after it has long got none.

PBSI spokesperson Yuni Kartika said the activity was also held in appreciation of the athletes` fight for the titles.

"We need to highlight it so that they know that people are longing for titles and wish Indonesian badminton could flourish like during the period of Susi and Alan Budikusuma (Olympic medalists). The people`s response is extraordinary and beyond our expectation," she said.

PBSI chief Gita Wirjawan said he was moved by the response of the people.

Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir won the world champion title after beating their Chinese opponents Xu Ceh/Ma Jin while Ahsan/Hendra won it after defeating Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen from Denmark. (*)
(Yoseph Hariyadi/Fardah Assegaf)

Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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