When Tontowi Ahmad decided to retire last month, the Indonesian mixed doubles badminton squad lost one of its most influential players. At the age of 32 Tontowi followed in the footsteps of partner Liliyana Natsir, who retired from badminton in early 2019 after a 15-year career.
The Tontowi-Liliyana duo had been the top mixed-doubles pair in the squad, clinching a gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and winning numerous international titles such as the 2017 World Championship in Scotland.
With both now retired, hopes are now pinned on Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti who won the All England mixed doubles title in March — the last big badminton tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to suspend all competitions.
Praveen said the key to the All England victory was their performance in the quarterfinals when they man…