PETALING JAYA: Malaysians, from social media users to prominent leaders, were united in pride and joy after national shuttlers Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying marched into the mixed doubles final of the Olympics, assuring the country of a second silver with the possibility of its first-ever gold medal.
The Star Online’s Facebook post on the duo’s win yesterday accumulated 876 shares, 14,000 likes and 276 comments within three hours.
Tagem Namza, whose comment generated 814 likes, said sports was the only true avenue that could unite Malaysians.
“I don’t see them as Chinese, I see them as Malaysians ... My heart swelled with pride when they won,” he gushed.
“I was teary when they got the match point ... really proud of em.. Go team Malaysia!!!” said Wazir Asyraf, whose comment garnered 222 likes.
Pathmasundari Sunderam said: “Reaching that level is a big achievement. Do your best!”
Joy Amin said their facial expressions were priceless after qualifying for the final, adding: “Whether they win or lose doesn’t matter now ... hats off Tigers.”
Doris Ang said: “Malaysia Boleh. Whatever the outcome u both already made us proud being the 1st Malaysians mixed doubles to reach the final in the Olympics.”
Heng Yu Tan, however, pleaded for calm: “Let’s not put too much pressure on our players.”
Netizens also expressed hope that the pressure to deliver the nation’s first Olympic gold would be eased off Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
Keat Leong Toh said: “At least release pressure on LCW. If not every time hope for LCW only.”
Chan and Goh had sent the 2012 London Olympics silver medallists, China’s world No. 6 pair Xu Chen and Ma Jin, packing in a 21-12, 21-19 thriller.
No less enthusiastic was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who tweeted: “Congratulations Chan Peng Soon and @gohliuying for taking #MAS to the final! What a performance! Another step to the #Olympics #Rio2016 gold. #KamiTeamMalaysia.”
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai chipped in: “One final hurdle towards the gold medal. #KamiTeamMalaysia.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong noted that Malaysia was on course for another silver in the Rio Olympics.
(Last Tuesday, Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong won the country’s first medal – a silver – at Rio in the women’s 10m platform synchronised diving.)
Dr Wee posted on his Facebook timeline: “At least a silver medal for Msia. GoGo for 1st gold!”
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is currently in Rio de Janeiro to lend support to Team Malaysia, tweeted: “So proud of them. I told them, don’t be satisfied with final. Go for gold.”
The Malaysian pair meet Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia in today’s final, which will air live at 11.30pm (Malaysian time) on Astro Arena Channels 801 (SD) and 802 (HD), as well as on HyppSports HD – Rio 2016 5 (HyppTV Ch 724).