Malaysia was off to a nervous start last night during the Rio 2016 mixed doubles badminton finals.
Time everywhere else stood still as scores of Malaysians stayed up to watch Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon battle Indonesian shuttlers Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir for the Olympic gold, what would’ve been a first for Malaysia.
Alas, the first set ended 21-14 in favour of the Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir and the second, 21-12, also in favour of the Indonesian shuttlers. By the time the match went into the second set, our Malaysian athletes looked visibly shaken, which caused them to make a number of errors.
Indonesia, on the other hand, displayed great teamwork and speed as they sailed through the finals and victoriously claimed the Olympic gold.
NST quoted Liu Ying as saying, “There was nothing that we could do as the Indonesians were in top form. Their determination to win was so great.”
“We had a game plan but the Indonesians had theirs too and obviously, they were superior to us. However, we are both happy to win the silver considering that we were glad to have just made the semi-finals,” Peng Soon added.
Nevertheless, it is still a silver in the bag for Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon, our very own formidable mixed doubles badminton team. As it stands, the pair already created history when they secured Malaysia’s first Olympics mixed doubles badminton final.
— Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) August 17, 2016
In 2014, Goh Liu Ying underwent knee surgery to fix ligament damage and cartilage deterioration. This was followed by 11 months of rehabilitation, a long and painful road to recovery.
In May 2015, she rejoined Chan Peng Soon in partnership and together, they practiced hard for the Olympic qualification – Liu Ying on strengthening her legs and Peng Soon on staying focused. At that time, they were ranked world #79. Their hard work soon paid off as they steadily climbed the ranks and finally qualified for Rio 2016.
A year ago, no one would’ve expected our mixed doubles athletes to make it past the quarterfinals. In a true story of determination, against all odds, they fought hard and made it to the very end of the Rio 2016 mixed doubles badminton finals, and earned Malaysia a medal.
Congratulations, Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon! Malaysia is so proud of you. Thank you for bringing it home.