Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 00:23 WIB

Indonesian badminton star Greysia Polii on retirement:
“This is more than enough”

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Greysia Polii
Retiring badminton athlete Greysia Polii. (Source: INSTAGRAM-BADMINTONINA)

She recalled her starting days back in 2003: “There was a lot of pressure in those days. Pelatnas did not have any senior players; we lost our direction. When I became a senior, I decided to mentor my juniors before I left. It is a pity when senior players leave without training new replacements to follow them,” she said. 

Greysia was originally asked to strengthen our National Uber Cup Team this year, but she refused. “This year onwards is the time for my younger compatriots. Furthermore, I notice how they have amazing spirit and passion. I am extremely relieved of having passed on the baton successfully,” she said. “I originally wanted to retire after my gold with Apriyani Rahayu in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, my coaches asked me not to retire yet – they need me to help her get points, so that her route to other major competitions – including the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics – would become smoother, no matter who she gets paired with later.” 

Any titles you wish you have won? “Actually, all athletes want to win in any and all event they participated in. As for me, I am satisfied with what I got. Even now, it still feels unreal to me that I actually won in an Olympics! This is more than enough,” she said. 

Greysia’s journey was far from being smooth. With her dedication and consistency in practicing badminton, she achieved her dream even though she had a great disappointment from being issued a black card and disqualification because she was judged as not fighting properly during the 2012 London Olympics. To add insult to injury, PBSI suspended her from all matches for three months. Meiliana Jauhari, her partner at the time, even retired in shame. “It was so bad that I wanted to retire with her at the time. That was my bitterest experience,” she said. “However, I decided to hang on. I was given a new partner, Nithya Krishinda Maheswari. A blessing in disguise, this, as I won the gold in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games with her.” 

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