The Great Taufik Hidayat

It’s probably too premature to say that this is the end of his era, but I’m just trying to be realistic here. I was not a big fan of Taufik Hidayat, I never am. Yet, like most of Indonesians, we are very proud, I am very proud to have him as our very own athlete. I’ve watched him since he was still a teenager. He was really one of a kind, in behavior and in talent. He was, I think, the most arrogant badminton player at his prime. He would play well if he felt like it. If he didn’t have the mood, he would just throw the game away. Yes, he was that good. The world knows him as the king of backhand shots. He could do basically everything with his backhand. People even started to think that it’s better to attack his forehand than his backhand. His backhand smash was the fastest I’ve even seen (in his prime) and he could do any kind of fancy shots, around the back, in between the legs, jump backhand smash, you name it. He only had one problem, his attitude. Nevertheless, I think like many other athletes, he still thought the Olympic is a huge tournament to win, hence the title in 2004.

He has made himself a legend in badminton. Those who want to master their backhand skills have to make him as the role model. Having achieved so many prestigious titles, I have to say I did feel for him knowing that he just lost to his junior in 2 straight games. It was not Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei or Peter Gade who crushed him, it was this guy who never won any major title and never won against him before. He should have retired earlier, when he was still on top. We all want to remember him as the great Taufik Hidayat who can win any tourney once he set his mind to win it. And as much as I despise his arrogance, I did admire him. For me, as long as one delivers results, I can’t complaint much on one’s behavior. Genius and arrogance are often come in one package. So yea…. It was kinda startled me when he said to the media that he has lost his confidence and not sure whether to continue playing at this level. I’ve never heard he said things like that to the media. He used to be someone who speaks highly of himself and blaming other people but him for his loss. I guess when the genius is no longer arrogant, he is not genius anymore?

Well, whatever it is…. I, like many other people in this country, would like to thank you for everything that you’ve given until now. Many kids learned badminton because of you, chased their dreams to be like you and hopefully in near future, we will have one like you again or even better. My salute to you, Mr Taufik Hidayat. The great Taufik Hidayat. One in many decades…..