KUALA LUMPUR: Wishes of “good luck” and “all the best” were the order of the day when the shuttlers for the Olympics completed their final training session at Gymnasium II in Bukit Jalil yesterday before they left for Beijing.
At midnight, nine players – Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann, Wong Mew Choo, Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Tan Boon Heong-Koo Kien Keat and Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty – took the flight on a mission to nail an elusive gold medal for Malaysia.
Ready for battle: The Malaysian badminton team posing with the Malaysian flag at the KLIA yesterday. The team left for the Beijing Olympic Games last night. – MOHD SAHAR MISNI / The Star
And hopes are high on badminton to deliver in Beijing.
During the final training session, the other players in the national training squad took the opportunity to show their support and wished the Olympic-bound team well.
Seasoned campaigner Choong Hann said that the players had given their best in training.
“We know that our team-mates, coaches and the whole country are behind us,” said the 31-year-old, who drew a first-round match against defending champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia.
“It will not be easy but we promise to give our best.
“Everyone of us has a mission to accomplish in Beijing.”
Malaysia have only won Olympic medals in badminton thus far. The sport made its debut at the 1992 Games in Barcelona and the men's pair of Razif-Jalani Sidek were the bronze medallists.
At the next Games in Atalanta in 1996, Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock took the men's doubles silver and Rashid Sidek was the men's singles bronze medallist.