SEPANG: Silver medallist Goh Liu Ying is a knockout as seen in her off-the-court photographs but her brothers remember a more rambunctious side of her growing up.
Her younger brothers, both working in the IT business, recalled childhood days of playing badminton for hours on end. And also losing terribly to their sister.
“Our mother always wanted us to play. But we couldn’t beat her and by the time she was 13, she entered the Bukit Jalil Sports School. We didn’t have a chance against her after that,” said Goh Qi Hao, 23.
Qi Hao and another brother Goh Qi Liang, 25, brought huge bouquets for their 27-year-old big sister at the Bunga Raya Complex yesterday.
The entire family was there, too, including Liu Ying’s wheelchair-bound 86-year-old grandfather who had not been to Kuala Lumpur for over three decades.
“We are all so proud of her. We never expected her to achieve so much,” said Qi Liang, who is still coming to grips with the fact that his sister was now a national celebrity.
“I mean, when she was 12 or 13, she had short hair, not like now. Maybe you could consider her a tomboy but she still acted like a girl,” he said.
The brothers said that Liu Ying’s feat did not come easy. Their family pulled together to push her into recovering from her knee surgery to winning the silver.
“You could see she was very fed up. It was so difficult for her. But we just kept motivating her to keep fighting, step by step.
“Tonight, we are going to celebrate with a big dinner,” Qi Hao said.
The brothers also thanked Liu Ying’s partner Chan Peng Soon, whom they considered a close family friend, for “taking care” of her in Rio.
“They are like brother and sister,” Qi Liang said.
Liu Ying’s father Goh Chak Whee said the fact that his daughter had taken part in the Games was enough to make the family proud. The medal was merely icing on the cake.
“We never expected her to win. Her physical frame is not like other athletes, so we never expected her to do so well. We are very proud,” he said.
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