Rio Olympic mixed doubles champion Tontowi Ahmad is set to retire after March 2020.
Most of his contracts with various sponsors also expire in March 2020.
According to Suara, Tontowi, 32 made known his wish of retirement to coach Richard Mainaky via a Whatsapp message.
In the message dated 11 February 2020, Tontowi Ahmad expressed his gratitude to his coach for helping him during training week in week out.
Good evening bro Icat (Richard Mainaky), I am sorry to tell you that I want to retire at the end of my contract. Thank you so much for helping me when I was a nobody until what I am right now. I will go to Cipayung (national training centre) soon. Once again, thank you very much bro Icat, because of your help, I have become the person I am today.
Richard Mainaky said that there are plus and minus points behind Tontowi’s decision. Richard feels the presence of a mixed doubles specialist player like Owi is such a good role model for his juniors.
“But on the other hand, looking at his age, I think it is enough for him. Tontowi Ahmad has delivered so much to PBSI and he already gave his best. So, I support him whatever his decision is,” said Richard.
In 2019, after Liliyana Natsir’s retirement, Tontowi and Winny Oktaviana Kandow could only reach the quarter-finals in seven tournaments. They failed to reach the semi-final of a tournament even once.
Following such lacklustre results in 2019, Tontowi split up with partner Winny and paired up with Apriyani Rahayu in the beginning of 2020. But this retirement decision indicates that he does not see much future in his recent partnership with Rahayu as well.
Tontowi Ahmad won 28 titles in his career with partner Liliyana Natsir, the 2016 Olympic gold being the biggest of them. They won the mixed doubles World Championships gold medal in 2013 and 2017. Their hat trick at the All England Championships (2012, 2013, 2014) is also one of their more notable achievements.