After witnessing yet another medal-hopeful falter at the Olympic stage, I couldn’t help but to ponder on whether it was too much an ask for an elusive gold medal from our fellow countrymen; and to whether if we are able to witness a Malaysian standing atop the winner’s podium anytime soon. Arguably the nation’s most optimistic chances of achieving the Olympic dream were shouldered by Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Azizulhasni Awang, two astoundingly amazing athletes who fell just short of accomplishing a nationwide’s aspiration in the final stages of the Olympics.
Personally, there are many ways to look at this. Maybe we can look at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and say that our best athletes have shown tremendous progress in terms of performance, or that we have been disappointing once again by not delivering any gold medals, or argue that we never had a realistic chance of winning anything, or saying that the Olympic stage is simply too big for us. Whatever it may be, it is harsh to learn that our best performance is still acquiring silver – no different from Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock back in the 1996 Atlanta games, with all our other medals coming only from badminton.
Watching how Datuk Lee Chong Wei gave an exhibition of inspirational endeavor against China’s Lin Dan was definitely a heartbreaking anguish to witness, but the truth remains – even with feasibly the best Olympian in history to represent Malaysia playing at his sparkling best, he still couldn’t find a way through to puncture his fellow on-court nemesis, who probably had one of his poorer games.
So, it made me wonder as to how long would it take for us to culminate another potent-Olympic winner? With the Malaysian badminton superstar heading towards the twilight of such a prolific career, it is hard to foresee another athlete who would eclipse, let alone overtake his silver-medal achievements, which comes back again to my question,
Is it too much an ask from us to see a Malaysian win an Olympic gold medal?
I am certainly looking forward towards what Team Malaysia have install for Rio 2016 and cling onto the buoyancy of having our country grace the Olympic stage with expectancies of seeing a Malaysian contend and surpass the feat of Datuk Lee Chong Wei.