KUALA LUMPUR — It was a joyous occasion for the Tan family in Amanah Park, Tawau, last night after Tan Wee Kiong added another medal to the Olympic trove when he bagged a silver medal with his partner, Goh V Shem.
Tan’s younger brother, Wee Tat, 24, said it was an emotional moment for the entire family including their mother Tan Yok Hua to watch Wee Kiong celebrating his performance yesterday.
“We are extremely proud of his achievement and believe he has given his best during the match,” said Wee Tat.
“My brother is still my hero because he always goes the extra mile in whatever he does and he never gives up.”
Tan’s fiancee, Chia Shi Leng, said watching him and Goh play was nerve-wracking.
“It was an intense match but I know they had fought hard to make Malaysia proud,” she said.
The atmosphere in Goh’s house in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, was equally intense with more than 30 friends and family watching the match.
Goh’s father, Ricky Goh, 57, said he was immensely proud as his son had wowed the world by standing toe-to-toe with the best.
“After years of pouring his blood, sweat and tears, he has stood among badminton giants and slugged it out like a true champion,” he said.
“I have always known he was meant to be there since the day he picked up the racket and after seeing him on the court tonight, he will be recognised as among the best in the game.’’
Earlier in Kuala Lumpur, the crowd at Delay No More, a retaurant in Hartamas Shopping Centre, including Lee Chong Wei’s elder brother Chong Hoon, 43, watched on tenterhooks at each of Chong Wei’s smash and graceful save.
Following the match, a visibly relieved Chong Hoon said the entire duration was agonising.
“I hardly watch his matches sitting down, I cannot handle the tension. Whenever he comes on, I tend to pace just to rid myself of the anxiety,” he said, adding this was one of the few matches he paid as much attention as possible.
“The match gave me sleepless nights. One more round of this anxiety, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world knowing that he potentially will come back with a gold medal,” he said.
At the Yayasan Khazanah 10th anniversary dinner in Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had nothing but praise for Chong Wei after the event was temporarily halted so the guests could watch the action on three large screens in the ballroom and cheer on the Malaysian ace.
“I am delighted to be here with all of you tonight. My presence here has been made much more delightful with the victory of Datuk Lee Chong Wei, although in a nail-biting way, but what is important is that at the end of the match he was the victor.”