Jakarta, January 27: Indonesia's top mixed doubles female shuttler Lilyana Natsir bid farewell during the final round of the 2019 Indonesia Masters before her last match against the defending champions from China Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong here on Sunday.
In her farewell speech Lilyana said that during her 24-year badminton career she had a lot of support from the government, friends, colleagues, supporters and contributed to advance badminton in the country, reports Xinhua news agency. Saina Nehwal Wins Indonesia Masters 2019 After Injured Carolina Marin Limps Out of Final, Watch Video Highlights.
"Today I declared my resignation from professional badminton. I could not be a badminton athlete without their support. Badminton has raised up my name," the 33-year-old said with tears in the badminton arena of Istora Senayan here.
Together with her partner Tontowi Ahmad, Lilyana has collected many titles from various international tournaments that include world championships, world cup, Asian championships and Southeast Asia championships.
She and Totowi won the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal after beating Malaysians Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying.
"Throughout my service as a youth and sports minister, gold in Olympics was my most favourite moment," Indonesia Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nachrawi said at the event.
Chairman of the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) Wiranto said that the PBSI has no option but accept Lilyana's resignation. He said that PBSI would focus on talent scouting to find a replacement for Lilyana.