PETALING JAYA: There will not be any rousing welcome or thousands snapping photos when shuttlers Goh Liu Ying and Lee Zii Jia (pic) lead the Malaysian contingent in the march past at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Tokyo today.
But for Liu Ying, it will still be a proud moment.
The mixed doubles star Liu Ying and Zii Jia are Malaysia’s flag bearers for the Games.
“There are all kinds of emotions as I get ready for this task but mostly, it will be just an honour to lead the team,” said Liu Ying.
Malaysia will be represented by 30 athletes but not all will be involved in the opening ceremony.
Out of the 30 athletes, there are 17 women and 13 men. On whether it was good to see more women participation in the Games, Liu Ying said gender did not matter.
“It does not matter men or women, we are one under the Malaysian team. My only hope is that we will have a bigger team at the next Olympic Games (2024 Paris),” said Liu Ying.
Once the job to lead the team is over, Liu Ying and her partner Chan Peng Soon will begin their quest to win the country’s first gold medal when they take on world No. 13 Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong in the first Group D match tomorrow.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal winners have not beaten the pair coached by former international Choong Tan Fook for five years.
The others in their group are China’s world No. 3 Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping and Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich.
Only the top two pairs will advance to the knockout stage.