Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir celebrate Sunday's (28/08) win. (Photo courtesy of the Badminton World Federation)

Tontowi, Liliyana Win Badminton World Champions in Glasgow


AUGUST 28, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir defeated world's number one Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen of China at the 2017 Badminton World Federation Championships final in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday (27/08).

Tontowi and Liliyana, now ranked eighth, beat the Chinese pair by 15-21, 21-16 and 21-15, after the win over the same opponents in June at the Indonesia Open.

"We didn't expect to win the world title, we just played, focused on the game and followed the coaches' instructions. We were clumsy in the first set," Liliyana said, as quoted on the Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI) website.

The Indonesian pair turned more aggressive and increased their pace in the second and third set, giving Zheng and Chen no chance to regain their early lead.

"We just played as usual. The difference is that we had won the Olympic gold medal [in 2016]. We feel more experienced than Zheng and Chen, which made us more composed," Liliyana added.

Liliyana has so far collected four world champion titles, in 2013 she won the same title with Tontowi, and in 2005 and 2007 with her previous partner Nova Widianto.

For Tontowi this is the second world champion title.

The pair said the win is their gift for Indonesia's Independence Day (Aug. 17) celebrations.

"Last year, we brought the Olympic gold on Independence Day. This time it didn't exactly coincide with the date, but it's still August," Liliyana said.

Indonesia had two representatives in the tournament's final. In the men's doubles category, Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro were beaten by Chinese pair Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan by 10-21 and 17-21.