Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | | By: Febi

What the other medal winners say

Rashid Sidek (BAM singles chief coach)

“I WENT to the 1996 Atlanta Games with a big burden on my slender shoulders. Malaysia had won the country’s first medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games through my brothers Razif-Jalani in the men’s doubles and everyone was hoping for me to deliver a medal this time.

I defeated two former world champions – Indonesians Joko Surprianto and Hariyanto Arbi. I beat Joko in the quarter-finals but lost to Dong Jiong of China in the last four.

In the playoffs, I beat Hariyanto for the bronze. It was the country’s first singles medal and I was pleased. I am happy that Lee Chong Wei has gone one step better by winning the silver medal and I hope he will bring back the gold medal this time.”

Cheah Soon Kit (chief coach of Looi Badminton Academy)

“EVERY four years, the memories of winning the country’s first silver medal in the men’s doubles event at the Olympic Games come flooding back.

I cannot believe that my achievement with (Yap) Kim Hock at the 1996 Atlanta Games is still the best for the country in a badminton event at the Olympics. That was 16 years ago.

“I hope the wait for the glitter of gold will be fulfilled at the London Games. I hope our players will take it one match at a time and not put undue pressure on themselves.”

Yap Kim Hock (doubles coach at Bukit Jalil Sports School)

“I COULD not sleep on the eve of the Olympic Games final against Rexy Mainaky-Ricky Subagja of Indonesia. Our preparation for the Olympic Games began two years earlier.

We were the second seeds behind the Indonesians and, naturally, we were expected to meet in the final. I was quite nervous. We, however, lost to them despite leading and it was disappointing. We had a chance to become the first Malaysians to win the gold medal but we blew it. The Indonesians played better at the crucial stages.

“Despite the loss, Soon Kit and I could still walk with our heads held high – as the country’s first Olympic silver medallists.”



- THE STAR

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