Five cows, one meatball restaurant, and one new house. These are some examples of the prizes promised to Indonesian badminton gold medalists Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu when they returned from Tokyo.
Indonesia, which is known as a badminton enthusiast country. Since badminton was officially competed at the Olympics in 1992, Indonesia has won all the Olympic gold medals from this sport.
Women’s doubles Greysia and Apriyani beat Chinese pair Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan 21-19 21-15 on Monday (2/8). The pair managed to present Indonesia’s first gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
When the All-Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) reported a decline in the interest of people taking part in the tournament due to concerns related to the transmission of COVID-19, the government quickly lured in a cash prize of IDR 5 billion. Greysia/Apriyani showered with more gifts.
The regent in Apriyani’s hometown in Sulawesi promised a gift of five cows and a house, while a meatball restaurant chain promised to give each of them a meatball restaurant.
In a message on Twitter, President Joko Widodo said the pair’s victory through a “tough and thrilling” match was a gift ahead of Independence Day on August 17.
Imelda Wigoeno, a former player and official at the pair’s club, said: “It takes winners like (Greysia and Apriyani) to pay more attention to women’s sports.”
Broto Happy, Spokesperson for PBSI, said that the pair’s victory came at a time when the recruitment of new players was halted due to the corona virus.
“This is a sign of the love of badminton lovers in Indonesia for the new winners,” he said.
Greysia, 33, said on the Badminton World Federation website: “I was born to be a badminton player. And I had that belief when I was only 13, that I wanted to make history for Indonesia.” [ah/ft]