Tearful Taufik Hidayat bids adieu to fans
Legendary Indonesian shuttler Taufik Hidayat bade a tearful goodbye to his loyal fans here yesterday at the end of a 17-year-long spectacular professional career
“After 25 years of playing badminton, in which 17 years (were) as a professional player in national and international tournaments, this time is probably the best time for me to retire,” a teary-eyed Taufik said in front of hundreds of spectators at the Istora Senayan Stadium before the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier finals, reports Xinhua. “This is an emotional moment for me. I want to thank the sport’s stakeholders who have been backing me all this time.”
Taufik handed over a badminton racquet to a young Indonesian player, symbolising regeneration and expectation that his good example can be followed by young players at home.
Throughout his career, Taufik has been an arch-rival to Malaysian World No 1 Lee Chong Wei. “We were good friends. I hope that Taufik can do the best for badminton and for his country,” said Lee Chong Wei, who went on to win the men’s singles title after beating Marc Zwiebler 21-15, 21-14 in the final yesterday.