Fame, fortune - and cows - for golden girls


Five cows, a meatball restaurant and a new house are some of the prizes promised to Indonesian badminton gold medalists Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu when they return home from Tokyo.

Indonesians are crazy about badminton, and the sport has produced all of the country's gold medals since being added to Olympic programs in 1992.

Women's pair Greysia and Apriyani defeated China's Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan on Monday, giving Indonesia a first gold in the Tokyo Games.

The government then stepped in with a 5 billion rupiah (HK$2.71million) cash award. That was followed by the pair being showered with more gifts.

The district head in Apriyani's hometown on Sulawesi promised her five cows and a house, while a chain of meatball restaurants pledged to give their own outlets.

A rewarding time is also being arranged in the Philippines for weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who won her country's first Olympic gold medal.

But Diaz must wait, for when she arrived in Manila from Tokyo yesterday she was whisked off to a hotel for seven days of quarantine as the country grappling with continuing virus outbreaks.

Still, there was a hint of good times to come with a banner at the airport reading "Gold at last!" and military personnel waving Philippine flags and applauding.

Diaz, 30, who won the women's 55-kilogram category in a fourth Olympic appearance, will collect her rewards when out of quarantine.

Various people have offered more than 40 million pesos (HK$6.25 million) in cash. Others have pledged a flat in an upscale district, a vacation home in a resort city south of Manila, a van and free petrol and free flights for life.

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September 2021

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