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Indonesia return to the top of the tree

Not since 1994 have Indonesia been the top nation at the YONEX All England Open but 2024 changed that. 

Jonatan Christie and doubles pairing Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto claimed two of the top prizes.

It had also been 30 years since two Indonesians competed in the men’s singles finals, with Christie beating close friend Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the showpiece.

“We are so happy and excited that the Indonesia team got two titles at the most prestigious tournament in the world,” Alfian said. “We hope the achievement will carry on.

“We thank everyone who has supported us along the way and we do hope that our achievement continues through the year.”

Alfian and Ardianto defended their men’s doubles title, beating Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in straight games in the final.

In doing so, they denied Malaysia the top spot on the podium which means that it is now six years since the five titles were shared between five different nations.

For Christie and Ginting, while the battle on court was competitive, as soon as the final was over the pair were as equally happy as for each other.

The two have known each other since they were teenagers going from sharing a room and dreams to living them out at one of badminton’s most prestigious tournaments.

Christie won 21-15 21-14 in the final to emphatically snap a streak of back-to-back first-round defeats.

He said: “I am very happy because we made history, the first all-Indonesia final after thirty years, I am the champion here and it is very important for me.

“The start of 2024 has been up and down but God helped me a lot this tournament.”

“This win isn’t just for me, it is for all men’s singles Indonesians because it’s very meaningful for us.

“This is what we have been trying to do for many years, to win a big event like this and we finally did it.”

Ginting helped to present the trophy to Christie, before the two each took hold of a handle, with their national team coach Irwansyah in the middle.

The smile of one of the friendliest players on the tour could not be wiped off his face as he talked about their friendship and where they had come from.

“My first memory of Jonatan is our first day in the national team,” he said. “We were the juniors, really young at the time, 16 or 17 years old.

“We were feeling shy and a bit scared with our seniors because we are young and its Asian culture, right?

“We shared a bedroom, three of us, me, Jonatan and our teammate. Those are good memories from that time until today, we can share those together, and have worked for this together.

“If there is no Jonatan today, there is no me today.

“We like running together, we keep up motivation for each other. It is really good for our friendly rivalry. That makes us push to our very best. I don’t want to lose and he feels the same way.

“He is very diligent, he is very clean and disciplined, I am not!”


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