MALACCA: A father took his three-year-old daughter to see her first badminton match. As her eyes stayed glued to the game, the father told her: “One day you will be a great player, so good that you will bring back an Olympic gold for the country.”
Twenty-four years later, Goh Liu Ying is a hair’s breadth away from fulfilling her father’s prophecy.
Now 60, Goh Chak Whee is one proud papa because his eldest child has reached the mixed doubles final of the Rio Olympics.
“Her win is the country’s pride and I’ll be really proud if she carries the Jalur Gemilang (with a win in the final),” said the retired subcontractor at his home in Batu Berendam yesterday.
An avid sportsman, Chak Whee said he has always wanted all three of his children, especially Liu Ying as the eldest, to excel in badminton.
He clearly remembers the day he took Liu Ying to the badminton game and told her she would one day be an ace in the sport.
Chak Whee started to train his daughter in badminton when she was five.
When she turned 11, he got her a professional coach.
Liu Ying was at the Bukit Jalil Sports School in Kuala Lumpur until she turned 17.
Despite his daughter’s sporting excellence, he was “still pleasantly surprised” when she and her partner Chan Peng Soon beat their China opponents in Monday’s semi-final in Rio, given that she had undergone double knee surgery in 2014.
“She was supposed to retire this year but because of encouragement from the coach and us, she persevered.
“We believe in you, Liu Ying,” he said as his wife, Yong Oi Lin, 53, an accounts clerk, nodded in agreement.