Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria had sleepless nights after the mixed team final defeat to India last Sunday.
But yesterday, he was wearing a smile after the curtain came down on the Commonwealth Games and badminton delivered two gold medals through Lee Chong Wei and Chow Mei Kuan-Vivian Hoo.
Chong Wei defeated K. Srikanth of India 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 in the men’s singles while Mei Kuan-Vivian downed Lauren Smith-Sarah Walker of England 21-12, 21-12 in the women’s doubles at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.
“I’m proud of the performance of Chong Wei and Mei Kuan-Vivian. They delivered under tremendous pressure,” said Norza.
“Vivian-Mei Kuan are not seeded while Chong Wei was up against a player 11 years younger than him. He had to fight India’s No. 12 player (H.S. Prannoy, semi-finals) and world No. 1 (Srikanth, final).
“It was a big task for Chong Wei but as usual, he never disappoints us. He is indeed a role model to all.
“The resilience and leadership shown by Chong Wei made the difference for us,” he said.
If Chong Wei and Mei Kuan-Vivian had lost yesterday, Malaysia would have ended the 28th Games without a badminton gold medal for the first time.
An emotional Norza admitted that it had been a stressful time.
“There was pressure on badminton to deliver after our mixed team lost. I’m proud of the players as they made this Games better than Glasgow (2014). I congratulate them all.”
Norza said they would review the performance of top seeds Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie after both pairs failed to live up to their top billing.
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