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Taufik Hidayat: The Backsmasher Prodigy

By: Srishty Sharon
Date: 20 Jul, 2018
Image Courtesy: Legends Vision

We can bet that there cannot be a single badminton aficionado, who is unaware of the name “Taufik Hidayat.” That’s because a person like him is unforgettable. He is among the most adored and popular badminton stars in the world. The Indonesian badminton legend, Taufik Hidayat is not just a role model for youngsters and a propelling athlete but a treasure trove of latent talent. He never left a chance to surprise his fans with his magical performances. Taufik played for a long time after which he finished his 17-year long voyage by taking retirement from the magnificent sport. Hidayat is famous and a celebrated player, known for his extraordinary skills and youthful play. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to this living legend and know more about the best Indonesian badminton player.


The First Phase


Taufik Hidayat is a retired Indonesian badminton player, who was born on 10th August 1981 at Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. The dream of the former badminton star was not of holding a racquet rather he wanted to be a professional player. His father was against his will of becoming a footballer, due to Taufik’s constant illness, he sabotaged the dreams of being a footballer. However, later his father introduced him to badminton and slowly Taufik began to like the sport.


His father encouraged him to represent the country by becoming an athlete, and this is how his journey in the sport of badminton started. His father’s encouragement and Taufik's determination made it all worthy and at the age of 9, he joined the SGS PLN Bandung Club under the training of Lie Sumirat.


Career and Achievements


Taufik embarked his career in badminton at the age of 13 and joined Peltnas Cipayung. He started partaking in the badminton tournaments as a junior player. Hidayat won his first-ever continental title, the Asian Junior Championship in 1997.


Later in the year 1999, at the age of merely 17 years, Hidayat, finished as a runner-up in the YONEX All England Open, which was not just a moment of proud for entire Indonesia, but also a milestone for the shuttler.


Three years later, he got another chance to represent Indonesia in the year 2000. He was elected to play at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000. However, but eliminated in the quarterfinals at the Summer Olympics.


Hidayat made a comeback in the next Olympic Games which was held at Athens, Greece in the year 2004. This time, Hidayat proved the world, why he has always been an extraordinary player in the badminton world. In the finals of the Olympic, he grabbed the crown of gold and made his country proud.


He has also won 6 titles out of 9 in the BWF Grand Prix and finished runners-up in the rest of the matches. In the Badminton Asia Championships, he won the title thrice and brought the laurels with him. Although in the rest of the matches, he won Silver twice and one Bronze.


Also, in the BWF World Championships 2005, he foiled the rising star of China, Lin Dan and won the Gold medal. The battle and rivalry on-court between these two players have always been entertaining and thrilling.


In 2000, 2004 and 2007, he won the Asian Championships title in the Men’s Singles category, whereas in 1999 and 2007, he also won the Southeast Asian Games title, in the same category. In 2002 and 2006, he also brought Gold by clinching the Asian Games title twice.


In the Indonesian team, he has participated 7 times for the hustle to win the Thomas Cup, 5 times for the Sudirman Cup and 4 chances to partake for the Asian Games. His team has won Gold in the Thomas Cup twice in 2000 and 2002, also a Gold in the Asian Games in 1998. He is a great player individually and with the team.

 

Best Shots


Hidayat is a dexterous player, he effortlessly swings his racquet back and forth from both his hands. He is proficient in smashing the shuttlecock. The major qualities of his play are the backhand smash, for which the former shuttler is famous. Besides, drop shot in the reverse slice, forward jump smash, smooth footwork and his deceiving net play are the most critical techniques of his game.

 

Support and Encouragement


Taufik’s entire family has always been a great support for him throughout his career. His father was his greatest motivator, who has helped and supported him in every phase, to become a better athlete and accomplish more in life. His family is one of the reasons behind him representing Indonesia, being an athlete for 25 years.

 

Academy


Hidayat runs his own badminton academy, the Taufik Hidayat Arena. He started focusing on it right after his retirement. The academy is located in the East Jakarta, where he will continue his legacy by training the young, rising stars of Indonesia and give them a chance to enhance their skills.

 

Records


Hidayat made a record back in 2006 World Championships, when he smashed shuttlecock by a forehand jump of 305 km/h against his opponent Ng Wei, which was an extremely impressive record.

 


The Indonesian Badminton Legen, Taufik Hidayat has been a tremendous player all his career. He is missed and will be missed in the badminton world. However, he may continue to play in friendlies, such as the Axiata Cup and the Indian Badminton Leagues. We hope to get a chance to see him play again.

 


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