Longing for our first gold


  • Bend It Like Bedi
  • Wednesday, 10 Aug 2016

So Vietnam has won its first ever Olympic gold medal through Hoang Xuan Vinh in the men’s 10-metre air pistol competition.

They joined Thailand and Indonesia as the only Asean countries to have won gold at the biggest multi sports games.

As it stands now, Thailand have nine gold medals while Indonesia have six.

Thailand's gold medals have come in boxing and weighlifting while Indonesia have badminton to thank for their gold medals.

Malaysia are still searching for that elusive gold medal.

We have three silver and three bronze medals – five from badminton and one from diving – to show thus far.

Lee Chong Wei has contributed two of those silver medals, losing to China's Lin Dan on both occasions.

The pressure will be on him once again to make that step up.

If all goes to plan, this is the time for Lee to win the gold. In his first final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he was throughly outclassed.

Four years later at the London Olympics, he put up a good fight only to lose.

That has got to be among the most heartbreaking losses for Lee and Malaysian fans.

It was a case of so close yet so far.

Rio is sure to be Lee's final fling with greatness. It won't be easy though as Lin Dan will surely aim for a hattrick of gold medals. The Chinese shuttler hasn't been on form lately, but this is not something really new is it?

He only truly turns up at the big events, so it won't be a big surprise if he ultimately wins the gold.

Lin Dan aside, there are the likes of Chen Long and Dane Jane O Jorgensen to be wary of.

It will certainly be a case of nerves for Malaysians, especially if Lee makes it to the latter rounds.

Our other hope will be on cyclist Azizulhasni Awang in the keirin event.

The pocket rocket as he is known is competing in his third Olympics.

In London, he finished sixth overall. His hopes will be boosted by the bronze medal he won at the World Championships in London in March.

A lot has been said of our divers as well, but I can only see them winning silver at best as the Chinese divers seem to be unbeatable.

As I write this, our neighbours Thailand have won two gold medals in women's weighlifting while Indonesia has one silver in addition to the Vietnamese gold medal.

Malaysia joined that list after divers Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong delivered a silver medal in the women's 10m platform synchro on Tuesday.

Now for the Negaraku to play at Rio.

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