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Badminton Legend Rudy Hartono Kurniawan

Badminton Legend Rudy Hartono Kurniawan

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 Dec 2019 2:00 PM GMT

Rudy Hartono Kurniawan (born- 18th August 1949) is a former Indonesian badminton star who won the men's singles title at the prestigious All-England Championship eight times, seven times consecutively (1968–1974)and at World Championship in 1980 on his only attempt at this title. He is one of the most famous players in the history of the sport and is considered to be one of the greatest badminton players of all time.

Hartono joined the National Training Center in 1965 in order to help his national team in the upcoming Thomas Cup. As a member of the 1966-1967 Thomas Cup squad, he won all of his matches, but Indonesia was beaten by Malaysia in a highly controversial final in which play was suspended due to the unruly crowd.

A year later, at his first try at the All England Championships, the 18-year-old Indonesian became the youngest ever champion of the tournament, beating Tan Aik Huang from Malaysia who had been the winner two years earlier. From then on, Hartono dominated the event like very few had before, winning eight titles in all, from 1968 to 1976. His eight titles at the All England earned Hartono a mention in the Guinness Book of Records.

At the height of his dominance in men’s singles in 1971, when playing six matches to win the All England singles crown, he only had 39 points scored against him. It was in 1975 making his first attempt at breaking the record of eight titles, he lost his first-ever match at the All England. Playing tentatively in one of the most exciting and memorable finals, he lost to Svend Pri of Denmark in straight sets. Finally in 1976, playing against his fellow countrymen Liem Swie King, Hartono achieved his record-breaking eighth All England men's singles title.

Hartono defeated Svend Pri in the finals of the 1972 Munich Games in which badminton was presented as a demonstration sport. Hartono was active in the Thomas Cup competition and played for his country at the event from 1967 to 1982. 1970, 1973, 1976 and 1979 Thomas Cup were resounding successes for Hartono and his team, with Indonesia sweeping four straight titles.

Rudy became involved with the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), holding different positions such as Chairman of Development Affairs until 2006. He is currently a member of PBSI’s Board of Honour. Hartono also played an active role within the Badminton World Federation (BWF). He was a member of the Council in 1985-1986, and later from 1994 to 2009. Hartono’s image and reputation led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to appoint him as a Goodwill Ambassador for Indonesia.

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