Hendra/Ahsan Oldest Men's Doubles At Tokyo Olympics
Indonesian men's doubles pair Ahsan/Hendra (Photo: Antara)

JAKARTA - Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan is one of Indonesia's representatives who will compete in the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8, even though they are no longer young.

At the age of Hendra, who is 37 and Ahsan 34, the world's second-ranked pair will become the oldest men's doubles at the Tokyo Olympics later.

Actually there are several other men's doubles players who are also over the age of 30 who will appear in Tokyo, including Hiroyuki Endo (34), Keigo Sonoda (31), Takeshi Kamura (31), Andres Skaarup Rasmussen (32), Ivan Sozonov (32) and Vladimir Ivanov (34).

Even though they have already passed their golden age, Hendra/Ahsan seem to be reborn and able to show their competition at the world elite level in 2019 since the two started their careers together starting from zero in 2018, after being separated because Hendra left the national training in 2017.

In the midst of competition between young players in their 20s, the couple nicknamed The Daddies have qualified for 11 finals of BWF tournaments throughout 2019. They even succeeded in winning the status of champions in three major events, namely All England, Badminton World Championships and BWF World Tour. Finals.

Thanks to this achievement, Hendra/Ahsan has also managed to rank second in the world since August 2019 until now. They outperformed young players, such as Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen (China), Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Indonesia) and Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin (Taiwan).

By placing second in the world, Hendra/Ahsan became one of Indonesia's representatives who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with compatriots and juniors Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.

The Tokyo Olympics will be the second appearance for Hendra and Ahsan. Before being paired for the first time with Ahsan at the end of 2012, Hendra started his career with Markis Kido for more than 10 years. They recorded slick achievements to successfully win the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Unfortunately, Hendra/Kido failed to defend their gold medal because they failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics after being ranked 12th in the world. While the requirements to qualify must enter the world's top eight.

Meanwhile, Ahsan, who was still paired with Bona Septano, managed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics after finishing sixth in the world, which was their first appearance at the Olympics. In London, their steps stopped in the quarter-finals after losing to South Korean representatives Jung Jae-sung / Lee Yong-dae.

Ahsan/Hendra first made their Olympic debut as a pair at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. They are also the only representatives of the Indonesian men's doubles sector and are very reliable to continue the golden tradition at the four-yearly sports party.

Prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hendra/Ahsan had won several prestigious titles, including the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, the 2013 BWF World Superseries Finals (now BWF World Tour Finals), the 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medal and the 2014 All England.

Thanks to this achievement, Hendra / Ahsan also holds the status as the second seed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, this status does not mean anything because they have not been able to bring home a gold medal after being eliminated in the group stage.

Hendra / Ahsan still have a chance to make amends for their defeat in Rio when competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 24 even though they have not tasted the main podium since 2020.

However, Hendra/Ahsan were still able to show their competition with the world's elite young players when they appeared in three consecutive tournaments in Bangkok, Thailand last January, namely the Yonex Thailand Open, Toyota Thailand Open and BWF World Tour Finals 2020.

Even though they failed to win the title in the three tournaments, it is undeniable that Hendra/Ahsan are still a couple that is quite feared by opponents.

Throughout their participation in the three championships, Hendra/Ahsan's best achievement was when they reached the final of the BWF World Tour Finals 2020. They failed to defend their title after being defeated by Taiwanese pair Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin in straight sets 17-21, 21-23.

In Tokyo later, Hendra / Ahsan will come as the second seed of the Tokyo Olympics. But they admit they don't really care about the status, and just want to focus on going through one match at a time.

“In terms of pressure (at the Tokyo Olympics) it is different. At the 2016 (Olympic Games) we were very reliable, but the results were even less good," said Hendra as quoted by Antara.

“This year, we are not very seeded, so we hope to play more loosely. But the pressure remains, if you want to be treated like a regular tournament, you can't because this is the Olympics," he continued.

Hendra/Ahsan and 10 other Indonesian representatives have arrived in Kumamoto, Japan to undergo a 10-day training camp before leaving for Tokyo.

The training camp is considered to be able to increase the athlete's ability to compete perfectly at the Tokyo Olympics later.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Hendra/Ahsan will start the group stage with their three competitors in Group D. They will face Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik (Malaysia), Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae (South Korea) and Jason Anthony Ho-Shue/ Nyl Yakura (Canada).

Biodata

Name: Mohammad Ahsan

Place of birth: Palembang, 7 September 1987

Club: PB Djarum​​​​

Name: Hendra Setiawan

Place, date of birth: Pemalang, Central Java, August 25, 1984

Club: PB Jaya Raya

List of achievements (starting from the 2019 season):

2021, BWF World Tour Finals runner up​​​​​

2020, runner up Indonesia Masters (Super 500)

2019, BWF World Tour Finals champion​​​​​

2019, Hong Kong Open runner up​​​​​

2019, Danish Open runner-up​​​​​

2019, China Open runner up​​​​​

2019, runner up Indonesia Open​​​​​​

2019, All England champion​​​​​

2019, World Championship champion in Basel, Switzerland


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