RIP Johan Wahyudi: A badminton legend passes away

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Johan Wahyudi, together with Tjun, is in the Badminton Hall of Fame. Goodbye, Johan. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Indonesia’s world of sports, especially that of badminton, is grieving. Johan Wahyudi passed away on Friday, November 15 in his birthplace of Malang, East Java. 

Johan is a men’s doubles badminton legend. Together with Tjun Tjun, he won the All England six times. 

Born Ang joe Liang in Malang on February 10, 1953, Johan began his badminton career at the age of thirteen when he joined the Gajah Putih (White Elephant) club. As he entered high school, Johan joined the Radjawali club in Surabaya, where another badminton maestro, Rudy Hartono, was also born. 

In 1971, Johan was called up to the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) national training camp (pelatnas). He was then paired with Tjun Tjun. The duo rose quickly, winning the Jakarta Badminton Open in 1972. In the final, they defeated Indonesian Christian Hadinata/Ade Chandra, who had won the All England earlier that year. 

In 1973, Tjun Tjun/Johan skated through to the All England final but were stopped by Christian/Ade. They later avenged their defeat by winning the All England in 1974 and 1975. 

Unfortunately, in the All England in 1976, Tjun Tjun/Johan was defeated by Sweden’s Thomas Kilstrom/Bengt Froman in the semifinals. The Swedish duo ended up winning the tournament after defeating Svend Pri/Steen Skovgard from Denmark in the final. Tjun Tjun/Johan won the year after, defeating Christian/Ade in the final. In 1978, the same happened and in 1979, the duo again won the tournament after defeating Sweden’s Stefan Karlsson/Claes Nordin. In 1980, Tjun Tjun/Johan won their sixth All England after winning against England’s Ray Steven/Mike Tredget in the final. In 1981, Tjun Tjun/Johan again had the opportunity to win the All England but in the finals were defeated by their juniors Rudy Heryanto/Kartono Hariatmanto in the final. 

A year later, Johan retired as a player. He temporarily became Indonesia’s national team manager in 1986. He was also a talent scout in the PB Djarum Badminton Audition in 2015. 

Johan is now gone. Goodbye to a legend. Thank you for your services and achievements which have made Indonesia proud. (rp)