Lee Chong Wei backs juniors Chan Peng Soon & Goh Liu Ying

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics commenced three days ago amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Every four years, Malaysians come together to support our national athletes competing in the games. Among all the sports, we’ve always been banking on badminton to bring home the country’s first gold medal.

Malaysia’s badminton team did exceptionally well in the games five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, bringing home a total of three silver medals. This year, unfortunately, the odds are not in the favour of national mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying who suffered an early loss and harsh criticisms by netizens. But national badminton icon Datuk Lee Chong Wei has come forth to defend his juniors in a recent post on social media.

Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon & Goh Liu Ying at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying
Image credit: @gohliuying

On 25th July 2021, Rio silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying faced an unexpected early defeat in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to Germany’s Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Hertrich at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza. The mixed doubles pair lost in straight sets of 12-21, 15-21, and will not be competing in the quarter-finals match.

The pair’s unexpected loss to the Europeans who rank 15 in the world, angered Malaysians who went on to criticise the national shuttlers for their poor performance in the games. Dismayed by the incident, Malaysia’s badminton legend Lee Chong Wei has come to defend his juniors and urged netizens to support the national athletes instead of criticising them.

 Lee Chong Wei backs juniors via social media post

Lee Chong Wei's Facebook post
Image credit: Lee Chong Wei 李宗伟 

In a trilingual social media post on Sunday, 25th July 2021, Chong Wei said that he has been dismayed by abusive online comments against the national shuttlers when they lost the game. He explained that winning and losing are part of the game and that every athlete representing the country has only one goal, which is to win the match.

“No one wants to go in court and lose. These players brought you joy before. Don’t mock and desert them when they lost a game,” he wrote, urging Malaysians to support the national athletes instead of criticising them for the defeat.

Chong Wei’s post has since gone viral, racking up over 100,000 reactions, 12,000 shares and more than 3,000 comments on Facebook.

Chang Peng Soon also commented on the post thanking his senior for the encouraging words. Meanwhile, fellow Malaysians also responded to the post agreeing with Lee and sharing words of encouragement for the national badminton team at the Olympics.

Lee Chong Wei supports mixed doubles pair juniors at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Thank you to our badminton icon Datuk Lee Chong Wei for speaking up against those who criticised Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. We too are in agreement with what he said. In essence, supporting our athletes who are contesting at international games is by the far the most important thing we can do as Malaysians. We hope Malaysians can refrain from commenting harshly about our athletes when they lose because that can demotivate them from going further.

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Cover image adapted from: Lee Chong Wei 李宗伟 and @meisterclothing

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