Sunday, 27 July 2014 | MYT 10:36 PM
Gritty Malaysians settle for table tennis silver
Malaysia’s (fromt left) Beh Lee Wei, Ng Sock Khim, Ho Ying, and Lee Rou You with their silver medals after losing to Singapore in the women’s team final. — GLENN GUAN / The Star
GLASGOW: Veteran Beh Lee Wei and her team-mates gave it their all but were no match against Singapore’s China-born players in the women’s table tennis team final at the Scotstoun Sports Campus in Glasgow.
Although the Malaysians lost 3-0, they can still walk with their heads held high as they won Malaysia’s first-ever Commonwealth Games silver medal in table tennis.
In fact, no one had given them a ghost of a chance to reach the final.
Not even the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM), who had only set them a bronze medal target.
But the women’s paddlers – comprising veterans Beh Lee Wei and Ng Sock Khim and newcomers Ho Ying and Lee Rou You – performed exceptionally well to deliver the silver.
Sock Khim, with her knee heavily strapped after undergoing surgery last December, went down fighting to Yu Mengyu 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 9-11.
The 31-year-old Lee Wei, who is featuring in her fourth and last Games, was up next but she too fell tamely to Feng Tianwei 8-11, 5-11, 4-11.
In the third match of the tie, Lee Wei-Ho Ying did well to steal a set before losing 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 5-11 to Mengyu-Lin Ye.
Malaysia had edged Australia 3-2 in the semi-finals.
Lee Wei, who has a daughter, was more than pleased with the silver medal.
“No one expected us to reach the final … we proved them wrong by defying the odds to reach it,” said Lee Wei.
“It’s the best achievement for us in the Games because we had won the team bronze twice (in 2002 Manchester and 2010 New Delhi).”
Lee Wei said that they are all fired up to give their best in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events, which begin tomorrow.
“Despite being a mother and having gained a few extra kilos, I still rose to the occasion and gave my best,” said Lee Wei, who has been representing Malaysia for the last 15 years.
“This is my last Games and I want to end it by bagging another medal.”
Team manager Soong Poh Wah was full of praise for the women’s team.
“Both the veterans – Lee Wei and Sock Khim – and newcomer Ho Ying have shown that they are capable of rising to occasion to play their best game,” said Poh Wah.
In the women’s bronze medal playoff, Australia edged India 3-1.