Sunday, 3 August 2014 | MYT 11:15 PM

Badminton delivers double gold flurry on final day (updated)

Woon Khe Wei (left) and her doubles partner Vivian Hoo with the Commonwealth Games gold medal, after beating their Indian opponents in the final on Sunday. - GLENN GUAN/ The Star

Woon Khe Wei (left) and her doubles partner Vivian Hoo with the Commonwealth Games gold medal, after beating their Indian opponents in the final on Sunday. - GLENN GUAN/ The Star

GLASGOW: Malaysia ended the Commonwealth Games with a smashing two-gold show in badminton at the Emirates Arena.

Malaysia thus end the Games with six gold medals – one short of the target.

Women’s doubles shuttlers Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo delivered the first gold on Sunday before the men’s doubles pair of Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem added the second. Badminton has, thus, delivered three gold medals in Glasgow, following the mixed team triumph last week.

Wee Kiong-V Shem had to fight hard to overcome Singapore’s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart 21-12, 12-21, 21-15.

Earlier, Khe Wei-Vivian could only hug each other in disbelief after pulling off a sensational win over favourites Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa of India.

Khe Wei-Vivian turned on the style with a fast-paced attacking game to down the Indian pair 21-17, 23-21 in 41 minutes.

Khe Wei-Vivian are the third Malaysian women's doubles pair to win the Commonwealth Games gold medal. Ang Li Peng-Lim Pek Siah won it in the 2002 Manchester Games and Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

Khe Wei-Vivian started off in fiery fashion – attacking at every possible opportunity to catch the shell-shocked Indians by surprise.

The Indian pair, however, got their act together in the second game and gave a better fight.

It was a tighter game and both pairs locked horns until 15-15 before the Indians pulled away to lead 20-16 – just one point away from taking the match to the rubber.

That was when the Malaysians showed their true colours as they fought back tenaciously to level it at 20-20 before pressing on for a sensational win – to the delight of the many Malaysian fans at the Arena. 

"We still can’t believe it. We have beaten the Indians for the gold medal. This is awesome," said a jubilant Vivian.

"I still don’t know how we got back from 16-20 to win it!

“We were so motivated and so fired up. We did not allow anything to distract us.”

It was sweet revenge indeed for the Malaysian pair, having lost to the Indians in the 2012 Korean Open. 

Khe Wei was happy to have settled the score with the Indians. 

"I lost to them at the last Commonwealth Games (when she played with Chin Eei Hui). Today, we showed we are the better pair," she said. 

"This win is special – not only for us. It is for the people of Malaysia. I hope it will ease the pain that everyone in our country has gone through after the second air tragedy (the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine last month).”

Khe Wei-Vivian won the SEA Games gold medal last year and have now added the Commonwealth Games gold.

Asked what is next, Khe Wei replied: "The Olympic Games in 2016!

“For now, it will give us the motivation to do well at the World Championships and Asian Games."

Goh V Shem (right) and Tan Wee Kiong take a selfie with fans after receiving their Commonwealth Games men's doubles gold medal. - GLENN GUAN/ The Star

Despite the final day flourish, the six-gold haul is still one short of the target set by the National Sports Council (NSC).

Wei Kiong wished that the organisers would give them two gold medals for their win yesterday. 

“Then, we could have reached the seven-gold target," said Wee Kiong in jest. 

On a serious note, Wee Kiong is just happy that they lived up to expectations. 

"We knew that everyone was expecting a perfect ending from us … we are happy that we did just that," said Wee Kiong. 

The opening game was a sizzler as Wee Kiong-V Shem switched on their attacking mode right from the start – breaking the Singaporean pair’s rhythm to take the opener.

Just when everyone thought that Wee Kiong-V Shem would seal a straight-game victory, the Malaysians ran out of steam.

The fast-tiring Malaysians’ game was littered with mistakes, allowing Danny-Chayut to run away with a 21-12 win and force the rubber.

Luckily, the Malaysians got back into the groove in the decider and there was nothing the Singaporeans could do to stop Wee Kiong-V Shem from getting their hands on the gold medal.

V Shem said: "We want to thank all the fans here (at the stadium) and also those back at home for their support. It really gave us the motivation to stay focused on our game.” 

V Shem-Wee Kiong's attention will now shift to the World Championships from Aug 25-31 at Copenhagen, Denmark, where they will get new partners.

V Shem will pair up with Lim Khim Wah while Wee Kiong will be out to do well with Hoon Thien How.

Tags / Keywords: Woon Khe Wei , Vivian Hoo , Tan Wee Kiong , Goh V Shem , badminton , Commonwealth Games , Glasgow


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