Doubles shuttler Goh V Shem waiting for transport after arriving at the airport in Glasgow with the Malaysia badminton team for the Commonwealth Games on Saturday. - GLENN GUAN/ The Star
GLASGOW: It has been more than two years since Goh V Shem changed his middle name in a bid to turn around his badminton fortunes.
So far, things have certainly been all right for the player formerly known as Goh Wei Shem.
He has gone from being a nobody to becoming one of the countries top men’s doubles shuttlers.
This year, he won his first Superseries title at the Malaysian Open with Lim Khim Wah; played a crucial role with Tan Wee Kiong in helping Malaysia finish as runners-up at the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May; and risen to the occasion with whoever he has been partnered with.
For the Glasgow Commonwealth Games badminton competition, which begins on Thursday, V Shem will partner Wee Kiong and, on paper, they stand a good chance of winning the gold.
But V Shem is not ready to look so far ahead.
For now, he prefers to look back at how he came to change his middle name in 2012.
“My father wanted me to change my name so that I can have better prospect in badminton. He believes in feng shui and told me to drop the Wei in my name and to replace it with V … which stands for victory,” he recalled.
“Things have changed for the better in my badminton career since then.
“Personally, though, it’s just another name. I have worked really hard to be where I am … there is still so much more to achieve.
“For now, my eyes are fixed on winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal with Wee Kiong,” added V Shem, who arrived here on Saturday.
So focused is he on his mission here that he is not going to take anyone lightly – especially Chris Adcock-Andrew Ellis of England and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart of Singapore.
V Shem is still haunted by the embarrassing loss he and Khim Wah suffered at the hands of Danny-Chayut in the final of the Malaysian Open GP Gold at Pasir Gudang, Johor, in April.
“It’s a big mistake to underestimate your opponent. I have learnt my lesson. Wee Kiong and I will be wary of every pair at the Commonwealth Games,” he said
Malaysia’s other pair - Chan Peng Soon-Chong Wei Feng - are likely to challenge for the bronze only.
Wei Feng’s main target is the men’s singles. In the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, he is seen as the best bet for the gold.
At the last Games in New Delhi four years ago, badminton delivered four golds – through Chong Wei (men’s singles), Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men’s doubles), Kien Keat-Chin Eei Hui (mixed doubles) and the mixed team event.