Precious Moments

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THE inspiring display of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong has been phenomenal throughout their Olympic campaign in Rio. V Shem and Wee Kiong picked up Malaysia’s third silver in the Games after losing 21-16, 11-21, 21-23 to Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan of China in the men’s doubles final early today.

All eyes will now be on Lee Chong Wei as he is fired up to take on China’s Chen Long in tonight’s men’s singles final and turn it into a golden night.

Chong Wei showed his superiority when he defeated old foe Lin Dan 15-21, 21-11, 22-20 in an epic heart-stopping semifinal yesterday – a match that would go down as one of the best the badminton world has ever seen.

‘I am the greatest’

NO ONE can argue with such a declaration, especially when it comes from Usain Bolt. Such is the sprint king’s stature the superlatives to describe him have run out. He reaffirmed his immortality by winning the 200m gold for a third time. Days earlier, he also achieved the triple in the 100m. After his latest victory, Bolt asked: “What else can I do to prove to the world I’m the greatest?” The answer is simple. Nothing.

Cheer for Chong Wei, no shame in defeat for Tan-Goh

KUALA LUMPUR — It was a roller coaster night for Malaysian badminton fans that will be remembered for a long time.

The nation erupted into cheers of jubilation after Lee Chong Wei edged his nemesis, Lin Dan of China, to book a berth in the men’s singles final.

And though Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem had to settle for silver after losing to China’s Fu Heifeng and Zhang Nan, it was still cause for celebration.

Chong Wei’s win was perhaps even more significant for the people of Penang as one of their own has guaranteed at least another medal for Malaysia’s Olympic haul.

“I could not believe my eyes. We are in the final and it’s our best athlete, a Penangite who has done it,” said Sharifah Mustahan, 29, a supermarket promoter.

“It was nail-biting to watch, especially the third game. But I am glad he has done it, he did his best until the final minute against his arch rival.”

Sharifah was among the hundreds who caught the match live at Gurney Paragon Mall in George Town.

Lim Ooi Tan, 21, a student, said Tan and Goh should be proud of themselves.

“I was hoping for a gold tonight but unfortunately the China pair pipped them. Our players played to the fullest until the final minute, I never saw any moment of them throwing in the towel. They fought back each time China won the points. I am more than happy for our heroes.”

In Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Rock Cafe was bursting at the seams. The crowd was lively and screamed on top of their lungs each time Chong Wei gained a point.

Hannah Saw Liu Jing, 26, a telecommunications officer, struggled to speak when the match was over.

“I lost my voice after that game,” she said.

“I think he played well, he didn’t choke at the end and it was crucial. He finally conquered his mental block against Lin Dan and he gave his all.”

At SK Corner, a restaurant in Petaling Jaya, there was complete silence in the final moments of the match. When Lee’s smash put the game to bed, the crowd exploded into cheers.

“It was a tough game but he nailed it! It’s nice to see everyone cheering for him, he unites us as Malaysians,” said Au Kar Poh, 23.

“I hope he can bring back a gold medal for Malaysia. We are proud of his achievements.”

Student R. Vinothini, 23, said: “Lee put up a good fight. He kept us all at the edge of our seats. I hope he can bring back a gold medal for the country. Malaysia boleh!”

Among the hundreds gathered at Dataran Putrajaya to watch the match live was Chandran Ramasamy, 25, an odd job worker, who also offered words of encouragement to Tan and Goh.

“It is terribly sad because losing a final is never easy psychologically but I’m sure they will bounce back.

“Today might not have been their day but as showed by their run to the final they are world beaters and can hold their heads up high and be called champions in our hearts.”

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Doubles pair gets boost from Rosmah

RIO DE JANEIRO — Malaysian badminton doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong received a boost prior to the finals with a letter from the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, congratulating them on their outstanding performance at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday.

Rosmah, who is the patron of the Malaysian Badminton Association, wrote that she, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and family conveyed their profound congratulations to the two players for making it to the finals.

Rosmah also sent a letter to national mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, congratulating them, for clinching the silver medal.

“Prove to the world the ability that you possess and continue to inject the spirit of ‘Malaysia Boleh’,” she wrote.

Chef-de-mission Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid handed the letters to them at the Olympic Village.

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