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Top 10 Indonesian Sportsmen

1.Rudy Hartono

Badminton player

Born:  August 18, 1949

From: Surabaya, East Java

Height: 182 cm

Sports enthusiasts know that Indonesia's first Olympic gold medalists were shuttlers Susi Susanti and Alan Budikusuma in Barcelona in 1992. And before that, Indonesia's first Olympic medal was a silver medal in women's archery in Seoul in 1988. But let's look back at the history books. Badminton was a demonstration sport at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Indonesia dominated and none was more impressive than Rudy Hartono Kurniawan, who beat his Scandinavian opponents in the men's singles final to win Indonesia's first ever Olympic gold medal. Unfortunately, medals for demonstration sports are never included in the official count. Rudy won the men's singles at the All-England Championship eight times, seven times in a row (1968–74). He also won the World Championships in 1980 in his only attempt at the title. One of the greatest players in the history of the sport, Rudy later served as an administrator in national and international badminton federations. He was also the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Indonesia

2. Chris John


Born: September 14, 1979

From: Banjarnegara, Central Java

Height: 169 cm

Johannes Christian John began boxing at the age of five, coached by his father, a former amateur boxer. After turning professional in 1997, Chris was the World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight titleholder from 2004 to 2013. This reign of nearly ten years is the second longest reign in the division's history. He had 18 successful title defenses and retired after suffering the only loss of his career. His professional record was 48 wins (22 by knockout), one loss and three draws. He also represented Indonesia in wushu, winning a gold medal at the 1997 Southeast Asia (SEA) Games in Jakarta. In February 2018, he joined the Democrat Party, receiving his membership card from former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. However, he felt the party was ignoring his aspirations, so in July he jumped ship for media tycoon Surya Paloh's Nasdem party and will stand for parliament in 2019.

3. Maulvi Sailan

football goalkeeper

Born: August 8, 1926

Died: October 10, 2016

From: Makassar, South Sulawesi

Height: 169 cm

Maulvi was a guerrilla fighter in Sulawesi and Java during the Indonesian War of Independence. He later became a personal aide to founding president Sukarno. But he was better known as the goalkeeper and occasional captain of the Indonesia national football team from 1951–58, when the team had international success. His greatest match was at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, where his acrobatic skills held the Soviet Union to a 0–0 draw. The Soviet Union, one of the top teams in the world at the time, won a rematch and won the gold medal. After Sukarno was ousted by Suharto in the mid-1960s, the cleric was imprisoned without trial for five years and eight months. Upon his release at the age of 45, he was cleared of any involvement in the Indonesian Communist Party. He later opened a school and established an education foundation. He was an avid reader and a gifted orator with memorable tales of football and Sukarno's weaknesses.

4. Eko Yuli Erawan

weight lifter

Born: 24 July 1989

From: Lampung

Height: 154 cm

Eko is Indonesia's most successful male weightlifter, winning medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. At the age of 16, he won a silver medal in the 56 kg category at the 2006 Junior World Championships. In 2007, he again won the gold medal at the Junior World Championships and also won the bronze at the Open World Championships. He won a bronze medal in the 56 kg category at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, then a bronze medal in the 62 kg category at the 2012 London Olympics, followed by a silver medal in the 62 kg category at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Eko has won gold in four SEA Games, but only managed to win bronze in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games. He is also targeting gold in the 2018 Asian Games and 2020 Olympics. Now 29, he wants to start coaching but laments that there is no younger generation of lifters in Indonesia to replace him.

5. Lalu Johri


Born: 1 July 2000

From: Lombok

Height: 170 cm

Within ten seconds, the world of athletics changed the way it looked at Indonesia. On July 11, 2018, Lalu Muhammad Zohri (18) won the men's 100m race at the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Starting in lane eight, he won the gold medal in a time of 10.18 seconds, ahead of American rivals Anthony Schwartz and Eric Harrison. It was the first time an Indonesian had won a medal in the championship's 32-year history. Zohri lost both his parents while still in primary school and was raised by his siblings. His athletic talent was noticed as early as 2017 and he had to borrow Rp400,000 from his sister to buy a pair of shoes before moving to Jakarta. After Zohri's victory, President Joko Widodo ordered the family's simple house to be rebuilt of wood and woven bamboo, but Zohri requested that it remain a reminder of his difficult childhood. After two recent deadly earthquakes in Lombok, Zohri donated much of his new found money to repair the water supply. At the 2018 Asian Games, Zohri can expect stiff competition from Chinese athletes in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay.

6. Elias Pickel


Born: March 24, 1960

From: Saparua Island, Maluku

Height: 165 cm

Indonesia's first international boxing champion. He was a three-time International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion (1985–89). As a child, he was a pearl diver, diving without equipment. He turned a professional boxer in 1982 and three years later defeated Xu Do Chun of China to win Indonesia's first international title. He was named the Exocet – a French-made missile – because his left-handed punch delivered a knock-out blow. Eli successfully defended his title, but then lost in 1986 to Cesar Polaco in a split decision. He regained the title in a rematch. He again lost the title before regaining it in 1988. He made three successful defenses before losing it in 1989. His professional record was 20 wins (11 by knockout), five losses and one draw. In 2005, he was arrested for selling ecstasy to an undercover policeman at the Mills nightclub in Jakarta and spent seven months in prison. In 2016, he made a modest comeback at the age of 55 in a two-round exhibition bout.

7. Bambang Pamungkas


Born: 10 June 1980

From: Semarang, Central Java

Height: 170 cm

Still playing in the Indonesian Super League in 2018 at the age of 38, Bambang has enjoyed one of the most enduring and successful careers in Indonesian football. He made a record 86 international appearances for Indonesia and scored a record 38 goals for his country. Nicknamed Beppe, the striker joined local club Persija Jakarta in 1999 and then transferred to Dutch third division club EHC Norad before returning to Jakarta in 2000. He was the top scorer in the 2002 Southeast Asian Championship with eight goals. From 2005 to 2007, he played for Malaysian team Selangor FA. In 2008, he turned down an offer from Derby County and returned to Persija Jakarta. An excellent header of the ball, he has indicated he may retire this year.

8. Richard Sam Bera


Born: December 19, 1971

From: Jakarta

Height: 183 cm

Despite being the world's largest archipelago, Indonesia does not have the world's greatest swimmers. The country's most successful swimmer of all time is Richard Sam Bera, who won an impressive 23 gold medals at the SEA Games from 1989 to 2005. While studying in the US, he was a college champion and US junior record holder. When just 16 years old, she qualified for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, competing in five freestyle and medley events. At the age of 17, she won her first gold medal in the 100 m freestyle at the 1989 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. He went on to represent Indonesia at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Eighteen years after his debut, he made his final SEA Games appearance in 2005 at the age of 34 and managed to win two gold, two silver and one bronze. After retiring, he became a triathlete and sports commentator. His closest successor in the pool is Siman Sudartawa of Bali.

9. Omar Sharif


Born: April 15, 1977

From: Sidoarjo, East Java

Indonesia's best karate practitioner, Omar won ten gold medals at the SEA Games from 1997 to 2013 and one silver medal at the 2010 Asian Games. In 2005, he moved to Europe with the aim of furthering his skills and participating in regular competitions. He opened a dojo (martial arts school) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he now lives with his wife and children. In recent years, he has been urged to return to Indonesia to help develop the country's talent in martial arts. He has provided some training but has been reluctant to get involved in the politics of sport in Indonesia. On a recent trip to Bali, he criticized the police for failing to stop pickpockets and suggested that karate practitioners would be more effective. Omar retired from competitive karate in 2016 after competing for East Java at the Indonesian National Games. He now trains in Karate and Zumba in his Swiss dojo.

10. Ade Rai

body builder

Born: May 6, 1970

From: Jakarta

Height: 183 cm

One of Indonesia's most recognizable athletes, not least because of his endorsement of various health products, supplements and a chain of gyms. Eddie's weight at the age of ten was 25 kilos. As a lanky teenager, he weighed only 55 kg and was a competitive badminton player. A knee injury prompted him to turn to bodybuilding. By 1994, his weight had increased to 80 kg and he had won the title of Best Bodybuilder of Indonesia. His many titles from the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness include: Mr. Asia (1995 and 1998), Mr. ASEAN (1995) and the Musclemania World Professional Overall Winner (2000). He also won the gold medal in the 1997 SEA Games. Known for his humble and friendly demeanor, his advice for aspiring bodybuilders in Indonesia is: stop consuming sugary drinks and rice, and don't sleep immediately after eating. Now retired from competitive bodybuilding, he has often spoken out against steroid use.


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