Thousands flock to welcome Natsir home

Thousands of people turned up to support Indonesian badminton star Liliyana Natsir during a victory parade in her hometown of Manado on Monday.

Natsir, whose nickname is ‘Butet’, struck badminton gold with her partner Tontowi Yahya in the mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics and was present with her parents as fans flocked to show their appreciation.

Her father, Benno, admitted it was nice to see his daughter back home: “Butet has not returned to her hometown in Manado for years,” he said.

Speaking to The Jakarta Post, Benno added that Liliyana was the pride of the family: “I’m proud of my daughter. Moreover, she managed to present a gold medal, a precious gift, for the 71st anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day.”

The 30-year-old started her victory parade at the airport and ended it at North Sulawesi Governor Olly Dondokambey’s office, where she enjoyed a lunch and was also given the keys to a luxury house as a gift for her memorable triumph in Rio.