It is certainly not the end of joy ride for the Indonesian mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir as first their hard work paid off in shape of two consecutive European titles and now they earned RP 200 million each as bonus money on March 21, 2012.
The star pair Tontowi-Liliyana sealed the crowns in mixed doubles category of the world’s oldest badminton event the All England Open and the Swiss Open.
Their club sponsors decided to award them bonus of a whopping amount of $21,800 (RP 200 million) each and organised an awarding ceremony in Jakarta.
The female member of the pair Liliyana Natsir got her bonus from the club sponsors PB Tangkas Alfamart while Tontowi Ahmad received his share from PB Djarum.
The Indonesian Liliyana was on cloud nine and she hoped that the government will also give the due credit to the athletes who have raised country’s flag at international level.
She said, “We feel appreciated with these bonuses. Hopefully, the government will make a special gesture afterwards.”
The All-England title was the first mixed doubles title for the country after 1979 when the duo Christian Hadinata-Imelda Wigoena bagged the crown for Indonesia.
The World Number three duo Tontowi-Liliyana also brought the honour back home almost after a decade as the last title was won by the Men’s doubles pair Sigit Budiarto and Candra Wijaya in 2003.
The mixed doubles team, who has forged a great chemistry in a short period of one year, sealed the All-England title by beating the World Number six Danish couple Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl and they continued their success run in Swiss Open last week also.
The chairman of PB Djarum Joppy Rosimin thinks that Indonesia will bet on its mixed doubles pair for gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
He said, “With these victories, I am sure it won’t be difficult to win the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, the badminton legends like former All England Champions Sigit Budiarto, Candra Wijaya, Liem Swie King and Christian Hadinata were also present in the ceremony to applaud the championship duo’s recent success in badminton arena.