PETALING JAYA: For national men’s singles head coach Hendrawan, Indonesia’s long-awaited Thomas Cup glory after 19 years in Aarhus, Denmark, last Sunday has brought some sort of relief to him.
Although the 49-year-old former world champion is currently serving arch-rivals Malaysia, no one can fault him for expressing his happiness and pride as he took to Instagram to congratulate his compatriots on their success.
After all, prior to their recent triumph, it was Hendrawan who notched the winning point for Indonesia – against Malaysia – in the 2002 final in Guangzhou.
Then, he crushed Roslin Hashim in the third singles decider to win Indonesia their 13th title.
Trailing 1-2, Indonesia staged a stirring fightback to edge Malaysia 3-2.
After 19 years, Hendrawan said he’s proud to have passed the baton to the new group of Thomas Cup winners.
“Finally, I can proudly hand over the baton to the 2020 Thomas Cup team,” said Hendrawan, who’s also the Sydney 2000 Olympics silver medallist.
“Watching all of you battle hard from the group stage, you all deserved to be champions and bring home the Thomas Cup.
“Each time when the Thomas Cup was approaching, there will always be reporters asking me about the 2002 Thomas Cup victory. Hopefully after this, I will no longer be asked the same questions.
“The history has now changed hands to the current generation, the 2020 Thomas Cup-winning team. Once again, congratulations to the winners.”
Hendrawan boasts three Thomas Cup titles to his name as he featured in the all-conquering side that dominated the 1998, 2000 and 2002 editions.
In all those outings, he lost only once – to Peter Gade of Denmark in the 2000 edition in Kuala Lumpur.