IPOH: Former badminton great Datuk Tan Yee Khan has two words for the current shuttlers – no regrets.
“You all played very well and so, there shouldn’t be any regrets.
“In fact, this is one of the best years in our country’s Olympic history,” said the 75-year-old former All England men’s doubles champion.
According to him, Datuk Lee Chong Wei had been under immense pressure to bring home the country’s first gold medal.
“It’s hard to play your best game under such pressure,” he said.
Tan also sang the praises of Malaysia’s mixed doubles team of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying and the men’s doubles pair of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, who each brought home a silver from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“The last few matches played by the mixed doubles team were the best I’ve seen them perform whereas the men’s doubles team has improved tremendously.
“They all deserve praise,” he said.
Tan said that rather than focus on the past, the shuttlers must now look to the future.
“They have to study their own matches at the Olympics and see where they went wrong. Learn from those mistakes,” he added.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said on his Facebook page that Malaysians were proud of the national hero’s performance.
“Although tonight is not Chong Wei’s, his fighting and never lose spirit is enough to make all Malaysians proud,” he said.
In an earlier tweet, Dr Wee asked which individual in the world could match Chong Wei’s achievement in securing three silver medals in three consecutive Olympic Games.
Perak MCA chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said: “It is very heartening to see them fight so hard.”
He added that it was equally heartening to see the unity shown in supporting the athletes.
Bloomberg TV Malaysia chairman and former minister Tan Sri Mohd Effendi Norwawi said Chong Wei had to be admired for his composure and style despite the unimaginable pressure of carrying all of Malaysia’s hopes.
“We should be proud of this four-time Olympian, three-time silver medallist! That’s a feat that won’t be easy to match for years.”
His wife, noted actress and producer Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina, congratulated the Olympic medallists on her Instagram.
She posted: “Well done to our Malaysian Heroes who fought the world’s best and made us proud at #rio2016. What a lovely #merdeka gift for Malaysia!”
Reposting a photo collage of the Rio Olympics medallists by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, comedian and television host Harith Iskander wrote: “When you understand the hours, commitment, dedication, pain, slog, grit and work our Olympians put in then only will you understand that they are true heroes – and how they unite the people and the country is a power no one can manufacture.”
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said Chong Wei would remain the hero the country can take pride in.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Chong Wei and Chen Long played great badminton in the final.
“Congrats for Malaysia’s three silvers,” he posted.