OLYMPIC BADMINTON CHAMPION, AHMAD RETIRES BEFORE RE-ARRANGED TOKYO 2020

Indonesia’s Rio 2016 Olympic badminton champion Tontowi Ahmad has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 32, and will not push on to the re-arranged Tokyo 2020.

The mixed doubles specialist won Olympic gold with his partner Liliyana Natsir on Indonesia’s Independence Day, August 17, in the Brazilian city nearly four years ago.

With the Tokyo Olympics now coming in 2021 due to COVID-19, Ahmad, who will have just turned 34 before the opening of the Games, has called time on his career. 

He leaves behind a legacy of being a former world number one in mixed doubles and a three-time All-England Open champion.

Making the announcement on Instagram, he said: “This is the time to say goodbye to something I’ve devoted over half my life to and that has made my life more colourful, sometimes in bad and good times, but I’m proud of what I have achieved.

“I hoped to quit at the top of the podium but this is life, we cannot get everything that we want, let alone in this situation.

“But whatever happens, I’m very grateful to have been in this position.

“This is the times for me to continue my life, achieve success in other fields.”

His partner Natsir retired after the 2019 Indonesian Masters last January and since then Ahmad, known by his nickname “Owi”, has failed to flourish in the same manner on the Badminton World Federation World Tour.

-insidethegames