IMPORTANT FIGURE BEHIND THE SUCCESS OF POLII / RAHAYU IN TOKYO 2020
Former badminton player, Eng Hian, coaches Polii and Rahayu with his Olympic experiences.
Since badminton has competed in the Olympics, Indonesia has always been the top seed in several competitions. However, in the women's doubles, Indonesia has never shown its teeth. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the story changed when the women's doubles pair Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu took home the gold medal.
The success story of the Indonesian women's doubles pair continues to present exciting stories. One of them came from the coach, Eng Hian.
For badminton fans, the name Eng Hian is definitely known. In his active period, the former badminton player from Solo, Central Java, was a men's doubles player who was paired with Flandy Limpele. The pair won a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
After retiring in 2014, PBSI assigned Eng Hian to handle women's doubles. Before the Polii and Rahayu pair, Eng Hian coached Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, who won the Asian Games gold in Incheon 2014. Indonesia's first achievement at the Asian Games after Imelda Wigoeno and Verawati at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games.
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Eng Hian came to the Cipayung national training center in March 2014. At that time, there were athletes such as Polii, Maheswari, and Della Destiara Haris who had potential. At that time, the world of badminton women's doubles was dominated by Chinese athletes known to be fast and strong. Indonesian athletes at that time did not have confidence when faced with Chinese athletes.
The coach, who was born on May 17, 1977, then concentrates on the mental development of the athlete, something that depends on each individual athlete. Eng Hian is known to motivate with his leadership to build the women's doubles athlete's confidence and become a respected figure in the training center.
Since becoming a coach, Polii and Eng Hian often exchange ideas about women's doubles as the first athlete she has handled since becoming a coach. Eng Hian also tries to build trust with the players, especially in terms of communication. His first target in the training center was to make the athlete's confidence; he needed an example of success, which was then given to the Polii and Rahayu pair.
"Polli and Rahayu have the most prominent characters when compared to the others. They have a strong will to succeed," said Eng Hian in an interview.
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During the preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which experienced a setback, Eng Hian opened communication with Polii and Rahayu to protect the psychology of being the primary target. Eng Hian just wanted the women's doubles pair to look as comfortable as possible during the match.
Eng Hian, who has experience playing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 2004 Athens, then accompanied the players in Rio 2016, revealed that the mental side played an essential role in the athlete's performance in the competition. He hopes that Polii and Rahayu will keep their mentality in mind by remembering the struggle to reach Tokyo 2020. The result is now a sweet history for Indonesia.
The name Eng Hian skyrocketed thanks to the success of Polii and Rahayu. These two athletes have been awaited by many who gave them prizes for their achievements in the Olympics, including Eng Hian, who coached them.
In addition to the prizes promised by the government, several parties are known to also give expressions of gratitude to the outstanding coach. Some of them are cash, savings, jewelry, and apartments.
"I enjoy what I'm doing now. I want to be a coach because I like being able to help other people succeed," said Eng Hian.
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