All England: Three-Decade Wait Ends

One sentiment stood out after the men’s singles final at the YONEX All England 2024 yesterday: it was a moment of glory for Indonesian men’s singles, not just for Jonatan Christie alone.

It wasn’t just that no Indonesian men’s singles player in three decades had triumphed at a tournament in which the country has such a rich history. In an Olympic year, the months leading up to this year’s All England haven’t been noteworthy for Indonesia.

Christie and Ginting exchange complimentary words after their match.

That is precisely why Christie kept emphasising the “we” instead of the “I” during his post-match comments. He didn’t see it as the story of an individual winning one of the most important titles on the circuit. As his vanquished opponent Anthony Sinisuka Ginting quipped: “Maybe there wouldn’t be me without Jonatan, nor he without me”.

Each had pushed the other, through all the disappointments and heartaches, until it all came together in the 125th year of the tournament all Indonesians hold dear. That Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto added a second gold on finals day added to the cheer of the Indonesians as they celebrated their most successful All England in a decade.

Christie, who hadn’t crossed the second round in any of his four previous tournaments this year, set the context when he talked of all the unseen struggles.

“Maybe you see only the good sides, but you don’t see the other side. It’s very upsetting when you lose in early rounds in four tournaments, it’s not easy when you keep trying harder and harder.

“I think all the work done earlier made this happen. I keep discussing with my coach and my parents and my wife, and that has improved me a lot. To be champion for Indonesia after 30 years is very meaningful. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year, it’s not easy to get a good result.”

In his moment of glory, Christie would remember to share the trophy with Ginting on the podium.

“It’s not just with Anthony, but with all men’s singles from Indonesia, it’s meaningful for all of us. Because this is what we have been trying for many years. We’ve been trying to get a good result at an event like this one.

“Yesterday I said we’d made history after 30 years. We are all very happy. It’s not easy to achieve something like this, but we did it. It doesn’t matter who won today, I’m just happy that we made history for Indonesia, and that’s enough for me.”


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