PETALING JAYA: Indonesia’s top men doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi-Kevin Sanjaya will be out to keep Indonesia’s strong gold medal tradition going at the Olympic Games.
Indonesia have won a gold medal at every Olympics since badminton was introduced at the 1992 edition in Barcelona except for the one in 2012 when China swept all the five gold medals.
Indonesia made an immediate impact at the 1992 Barcelona Games by winning two through lovebirds Alan Budi Kusuma (men’s singles) and Susi Susanti (women’s singles).
It was followed by victories through Rexy Mainaky-Ricky Subagja (men’s doubles, 1996 Atlanta); Tony Gunawan-Candra Wijaya (men’s doubles, 2000 Sydney Games); Taufik Hidayat (men’s singles, 2004 Athens); Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (men’s doubles, 2008 Beijing); Tontowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir (mixed doubles, 2016 Rio). In the current team in Tokyo, world No. 1 Marcus-Kevin are seen as their best hope to deliver at least one title for Indonesia in Tokyo.
The Indonesians, fondly known at home as The Minions for their small stature, are in Group A with England’s Ben Lane-Sean Vardy, Taiwan’s Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin and India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty and will play their opening match against the English today.