After several days of fierce competition, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has drawn to a close. It was a rollercoaster of a tournament and definitely tiring for our athletes, however, it also marks them coming home!
The Malaysian badminton team in particular is returning with their heads held high. With two gold, one silver and two bronze medals under their belt, it’s definitely an achievement to be proud of. Yet, despite his stellar performance in the tourney, Ng Tze Yong (黄智勇) claims he still has a long way to go to match Lee Zii Jia (李梓嘉).
As many can and will attest to, badminton fans saw a huge growth leap in Tze Yong during the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was a far cry from netizens’ scepticism and disbelief in the beginning. Hope and confidence in Tze Yong’s skill stemmed mostly from his performance during the mixed team event when the 22-year-old scored an unbelievable win against India’s former world no. 1 Srikanth Kidambi. This led to the team nabbing their first gold.
Fans and the players continued riding on the wind of their success, hoping to do as well in the individual events. While Tze Yong did not manage to score gold a second time, his silver medal was still hard-earned. He later shared that he hadn’t expected to do so well. “Although I couldn’t get the gold medal, I tried my very best for the individual event,” he stated. “Honestly, I really didn’t expect to make it onto the podium.” Notably, this is Tze Yong’s first multi-sport event.
The 22-year-old shuttler added that he is proud of his achievements and hopes to keep up his performance. However, Tze Yong was equally quick to admit that he is not yet at Zii Jia’s standard. “Lee Zii Jia is still No. 1 in the men’s singles. I still have a long way to go (before I) become a mature player,” he said, adding, “I will continue to work hard.” Still, his achievements from the Commonwealth games have given him confidence to keep going.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games may have recently ended, but players are already looking forward to their next match. Tze Yong in particular is slated to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Championships in August. We’re certain the up-and-coming shuttler will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the future.