The whole of the Badminton world has been saddened by the passing of Johan Wahjudi, one of the great 1970s All England champions.
Johan was born on February 10 1953 in Malang, East Java. He played badminton from the age of 4 years, starting his career as a badminton player at the Rajawali Club in Surabaya. The club also produced fellow badminton legend Rudy Hartono.
Johan Wahjudi and his partner, Tjun Tjun, became one of the most dominant Men’s Doubles pairs in the 1970s, winning the All England Men’s Double title in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980. They competed during the Golden Age of Indonesian badminton and were part of "The Magnificent Seven" along with Rudy Hartono, Liem Swie King, Iie Sumirat, Christian Hadinata and Ade Chandra. Their six All England titles placed them on par with Ireland’s Frank Devlin and Gordon 'Curly' Mack and with Denmark’s Finn Kobberø and Jørgen Hammergaard Hansen for the most Men’s Doubles titles at the All England.
In 1978 Johan Wahjudi and Tjun Tjun would be the last All England champions to win a trophy out right. This is where champions winning three consecutive or four in total titles were allowed to take the trophies home.
Wahjudi and Tjun Tjun were also the first ever World Champions in Men’s Doubles in 1977 at Malmo, Sweden and the winners of the 1974 Asian Games.
Johan was the manager of the Indonesian team at the All England 1986. At that time, the Indonesian squad was filled with young players such as Ardy Wiranata, Alan Budi Kusuma, and Fung Permadi.
He received the IBF Meritorious Service Award in 1986 and was inducted into the Badminton World Federation Hall of Fame with Tjun Tjun in 2009.
After retiring from badminton, Johan worked as a businessman. In 2013, Johan also received a gift from the government as a form of appreciation.
Photos - Louis Ross.
Geoff Hinder - National Badminton Museum.