Monday, August 18, 2008

We're Still Proud of You, Lee Chong Wei

The Star: Chong Wei offers no excuse after tame loss to Lin Dan

That's the stigma of getting a silver in badminton. The backlash from the public wouldn't be that serious if Lee Chong Wei came back from Beijing with a lesser bronze medal. Why this mentality? Haven't 12 years of both success and failures proved to Malaysians that our sporting teams are an inconsistent lot?

I wrote this in a blog post dated April 14, 2008:
I'm quite hopeful that Malaysia will get at least a medal this time round, but this time not from badminton. Despite coach Rexy Mainaky's efforts, the pairing of Koo Kien Kiat and Tan Boon Heong had a glimmer of an Olympic gold at one point but inconsistency has cost them a lot. No matter how much money the government pumps into the Badminton Association of Malaysia, we are looking at nothing if there's no more fresh talent.

Keep an eye out on our underdogs in the Olympics, expect nothing from the expected, and we might end up with a modest sum of medals in Beijing.

I wrote off Malaysian's badminton chances 4 months ago and I can say I'm glad to be proven wrong.

In the short few days leading up till the final, Chong Wei's achievement gave Malaysians hope that he'll put and end to our Olympic gold medal drought. He fought tooth and nail against South Korea's Lee Hyun-Il in the semis. He was probably nervous, tired and up against a fitter, superior, well-rested and definitely more confident opponent.

Lee Chong Wei, we're proud of you for being Malaysia's first medalist in Beijing. :)

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