Asian Games 2018

Asian Games: Indonesia’s wushu queen Lindswell Kwok retires after winning gold and thumbs up from president

The 26-year-old ethnic Chinese is hoping more youngsters will take up the sport in her country after watching her performance

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 3:47pm

Indonesia’s darling of the Asian Games, wushu athlete Lindswell Kwok, has fulfilled her promise to retire from the sport minutes after winning gold for her country.

The 26-year-old – adored by her compatriots for her beauty, charm and good nature – claimed gold in the Taijiquan and Taijijian all-round competition on Monday, beating Hong Kong’s Juanita Mok Eun-ying into second place, and then told media that she was calling it quits.

“It’s enough now,” said Kwok, who was watched by Indonesian President Jokowi at the JIExpo complex in Jakarta. “I want to rest first. I don’t know what I’ll do next.

“I have been in wushu since I was a small child. So, I don’t know how I would survive in a world without wushu in my life. I wanted to end my career on a high and I was able to do that.”

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Kwok is one of Indonesia’s most decorated athletes, having won five world championship titles and four Southeast Asian Games championships in a row since 2011.

If she carries out her promise to retire, Indonesia may experience a void in quality wushu experts on the women’s side. But Kwok hopes more young Indonesians will be inspired by her performances, just she as was drawn to the sport by those who came before her.

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“It may not be visible right now but I hope that with Indonesia’s achievements in the sport, our children can be encourage to pursue the sport,” she said.

“Previously, I never had any interest but when I saw athletes becoming world champions and raising the profile of Indonesian wushu, I became enthusiastic and decided to take up wushu.”

Jokowi, who congratulated Kwok in person after her victory, went on to social media to congratulate her achievement, saying she was the symbolic leader of the Indonesian wushu team.

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Glamorous with movie-star good looks, Kwok is a symbol of unity in multi-ethnic Indonesia where more than a year ago many in the capital took to the streets to help oust former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese.