Their rapid-fire, unrelenting attacking game, full of explosive smashes, was the hallmark of their partnership, which attained renown as perhaps the best men’s doubles combination of the 1990s. Having captured every major title – including the Olympics, the World Championships, All England, World Cup, Asian Games and Thomas Cup – Mainaky and Subagja had few equals when it came to the completeness of their record.
Subagja won the World Championships 1993 with Rudy Gunawan, but it was with Mainaky that the partnership hit the high notes. He defended his world title in 1995 with Mainaky, getting the better of Thomas Lund and Jon Holst-Christensen in straight games. Through the second half of the 1990s, the Mainaky/Subagja pair won over 30 international titles, including three World Cups, four Indonesia Opens, three World GP Finals, two All Englands, and a hat-trick at the Japan Open.
Mainaky and Subagja were vital cogs in Indonesia’s badminton machine that saw them capture four straight Thomas Cup titles from 1994 to 2000. After defeat in the 1992 final to Cheah Soon Kit/Soo Beng Kiang that saw Malaysia recapture the title after 1967, Mainaky and Subagja went on to establish an indomitable reputation at the Thomas Cup. Indonesia avenged the result at the next Thomas Cup, beating Malaysia 3-0 (The result was assured before Mainaky/Subagja were to come on court).
“We felt we were on the moon, because I’d always watched Rudy Hartono or Liem Swie King lifting the Thomas Cup, and that time I also lifted the cup. I cannot describe the feeling,” Mainaky recalled.
At the next edition, the duo played first doubles and thwarted Jon Holst-Christensen/Jim Laugesen as Indonesia burst through 5-0, winning their tenth title.
In 1998, the tie against Malaysia was a tight one, with Mainaky/Subagja’s win over Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock proving crucial to the 3-2 scoreline.
In 2000, Mainaky partnered Tony Gunawan during a close semifinal win against Denmark, and an easier 3-0 verdict over China in the final.
Olympic Games: Gold (1996)
World Championships: Gold (1995)
Asian Games: Gold (1994, 1998)
Thomas Cup: Winners (1994, 1996, 1998, 2000)
Other Major Honours
World Cup: Winners (1993, 1995, 1997)
World Grand Prix Finals: Winners (1992, 1994. 1996)
All England: Winners (1995. 1996)
Japan Open: Winners (1995, 1996, 1997)
Indonesia Open: Winners (1993, 1994, 1998, 1999)
Ricky Subagja won the World Championships 1993 with Rudy Gunawan, while Rexy Mainaky partnered Tony Gunawan during the victorious Thomas Cup 2000 campaign.
Choose one of two matches featuring Rexy Mainaky/Ricky Subagja for the Fans' Match of the Week.
Thomas Cup 1998 Final
🇮🇩 Mainaky/Subagja 🆚 Cheah Soon Kit/Yap Kim Hock 🇲🇾
Thomas Cup 1996 Final
🇮🇩 Mainaky/Subagja 🆚 Jon Holst-Christensen/Jim Laugesen🇩🇰#BadmintonIcons
— BWF (@bwfmedia) September 8, 2020