With the ongoing quest for our first Olympic gold medal, it’s safe to say that Malaysians all around the world are looking forward to this historic moment. To imagine the exhilaration when the Negaraku gets played in the background as our country’s flag gets raised during the medal presentation ceremony is truly a moment that would leave everyone with tears of joy.
In the previous Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, our national athletes achieved a total medal count of 5 medals — 4 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. Our silver medals were contributed by Cheong Jun Hoong and Pandalela Rinong, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong and Datuk Seri Lee Chong Wei.
Our sole bronze medal was contributed by Azizulhasni Awang for the men’s keirin event. Currently, our country has yet to receive any medals however, we’re confident that our athletes would bring pride to our country!
Over the years, we’ve witnessed our athletes at their best. From the famed Sidek Brothers to Azizulhasni Awang, these athletes have greatly contributed to our country’s sports industry. Here’s a list of Olympic medallists from the yesteryears up until the present!
The Sidek Brothers
Badminton fans of the past and present, and most importantly, the future should always remember this famous quintet of brothers — Misbun, Razif, Jalani, Rahman and Rashid. Inspired by their badminton coach father, the late Sidek Abdullah Kamar, this group of brothers were determined to participate in badminton.
For the Olympics, Razif, Jalani and Rashid have won medals with Razif and Jalani winning the men’s doubles bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games and Rashid winning the men’s singles bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games. These brothers were the creators of the iconic Sidek-serve or the S-serve. Unfortunately, it had to be banned by the International Badminton Federation because it was too tricky to return!
Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock
The 1996 Atlanta Games was a gold rush of medals for our Malaysian contingent. Joining the badminton team were, shuttlers Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock who successfully bagged the silver medal for the men’s doubles. Cheah was popular for his impressive jumping smash and Yap had established himself in the badminton scene in 1989. This pair, although winning the first round, got their gold medal hopes snatched away when their Indonesian opponents made a comeback in the second and third rounds.
Lee Chong Wei
This sportsman needs no introduction. He has constantly bounced himself back on track regardless of the adversities he faced. He was the world number one badminton player for over a year and he had also won three medals at the Olympics.
Winning his silver medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics, Lee Chong Wei retired from the badminton scene as of 2019, following a nose cancer diagnosis. Prior to that, in 2014, this 38-year-old athlete faced an eight-month doping ban by the Badminton World Federation for testing positive for the anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone. This cost him his world number 1 rank and he plunged down in the world rankings, only to come back up to the top ranking again post-banning period.
Pandalela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong
This amazing duo has partnered up with each other since 2007, competing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics together, with a silver medal at reach! Pandelela herself has won her first Olympic medal in the 2012 London Olympics earning herself a bronze medal, at the mere age of 15. Diving icons. indeed!
Goh Wei Shem and Tan Wee Kiong
This unstoppable duo, first partnered at the 2014 Thomas Cup and they’ve been unbeatable since. Competing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, in a tight battle with China, they lost by two points in the finals, which secured them a silver medal. We often witnssed Tan Wee Kiong positioned closer to the front while Goh Wei Shem would be placed at the rear where he would wait patiently to deliver a steep smash at the opponent.
Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying
This fearsome duo, being consistently ranked among the top-ten in the mixed doubles pairs in the world, has indeed proven themselves well over the years. This pair was the first ever mixed doubles pair in Malaysia to qualify for the Olympics for the 2012 London Olympics. In 2016, the pair reunited once again post Goh Liu Ying’s surgery, to win silver behind the Indonesian team.
The Pocket Rocketman definitel caught everyone by surprise when he brough home a bronze medal from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He first took up cycling at the tender age of 10, when his father gifted him a bicycle as a present for his UPSR results. His late cycling coach, Rozimi Omar, knew that Azizulhasni has a huge potential in cycling following his stature.
These athletes are definitely the pride of the nation and indeed, an inspiration for the upcoming generation of Gen-Z athletes. Their determination, strength and nationalism knows no boundaries to deliver a medal for their beloved country.
Source: Free Malaysia Today