Indonesian acclaimed badminton player Taufik Hidayat conveyed his official goodbye to his Indonesian loyal fans and badminton association on Sunday related to his retirement from his professional badminton career.
Taufik' s official farewell was conveyed shortly before the commencement of Indonesian Open super series final match held at Indonesia' s landmark Istora Senayan badminton stadium.
"After 25 years of playing badminton, in which 17 years played as professional players in national and international tournaments, this time is probably the best time for me to retire. This is an emotional moment for me. Thanks for badminton sport stakeholders that have been backing me up along this time," Taufik said in front of hundreds of spectators in the stadium with his eyes glassy.
Taufik then handed over a badminton racket to a young Indonesian player, symbolizing regeneration and expectation that his good examples can be followed by young players at home.
"On behalf of PBSI and people of Indonesia I thank you for your dedication and contribution. There is no such a former champion. Once a champion always a champion," Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) Chairman Gita Wirjawan who was at presence said.
Taufik had previously conveyed his retirement after being defeated by a non seeded Indian player Sai Praneeth in the qualifying round of the tournament. Taufik was ranked no. 35 by Badminton World Federation (BWF) in the last days as professional badminton player.
The 31 years old Taufik Hidayat had won many international badminton championships held at home and foreign countries throughout 17 years of excellent career. He won two gold medals in Asian Games' badminton men' s singles event in Busan, South Korea and Doha, Qatar in 2002 and 2006 respectively, and a gold medal in Athens 2004 Olympics Games.
As professional player, he won the best men' s singles badminton player in 2005 International Badminton Federation (IBF) World Championship held in Anaheim. In Asian Championship badminton tournaments, Taufik won gold medals in 2000, 2003 and 2004.
Taufik secured six championships of annual international badminton championships held at home, Indonesia Open, from 1999 to 2006. He also led national badminton team tp win gold medals in 1999 Asian Team Cup and Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur 2000 and Guangzhou 2002.
During his excellent career, Taufik has been an arch-rival to Malaysia' s Lee Chong Wei and China' s Lin Dan.
"We are good friends. I hope that Taufik can do the best for badminton and for his country," Lee Chong Wei said, commenting on Taufik retirement after the final match.
After his retirement, Taufik plans to focus on his badminton academy and his sport hall called Taufik Hidayat Arena located in Ciracas, East Jakarta.
The futuristic-designed building is built on 6,600 square meters of land area, provides complete training sessions including accommodations for talented badminton players from home and around the world. It has eight international-standard badminton courts.
Many players from China, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Mexico had undergone intensive training sessions in the badminton hall under the supervision of Taufik and his coaching team.