INDONESIA – Sudden split of world number #1 Widianto-Natsir

Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir will not finish their career on a high as they had hoped as the PBSI announced this Wednesday in Jakarta that the duo was to […]

Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir will not finish their career on a high as they had hoped as the PBSI announced this Wednesday in Jakarta that the duo was to split before their expected swan song as a pair during the Asian Games.

Nova, 32, had asked PBSI to look for a younger partner for Liliyana last year, but thought that he would be still given the chance to end his career in Guangzhou, for a very important competition. The Indonesian officials have decided otherwise after the latest results of the pair were not good enough to hope for gold.

Nova and Liliyana just looked easy to beat out on the court, especially when they were playing against Chinese opponents,” said Richard Mainaky, the national team coach for mixed doubles, as quoted by the Jakarta Globe.

Widianto of course, was disappointed by this decision which means he is now a newly retired player without even competing a last tournament before his farewell. “I believe there is no perfect decision. Someone must be upset by the decision, and this time it’s me,” he told the Jakarta Globe.  “But I think this is the best decision for the team, so I have to accept it.

Nova and Liliyana have clinched 2 World Championship gold medals and 14 titles all together, and were still at world number one when the decision was announced.

Natsir and new partner Tontowi Ahmad, who together have already won the Macau Open this year, will play together from now on, including in the Asian Games in November.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.