MALAYSIA boleh! In true Lee Chong Wei-style, Malaysia’s badminton team blew their other Southeast Asian counterparts out of the water at ASEAN Games Australia 2012. Yi Lei reports.
Mirroring fellow countryman Lee Chong Wei’s success at the recent London 2012 Olympics, Malaysians dominated the ASEAN Games Australia (AGA) 2012 badminton tournament at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
Daniel Wu and Meng Hui won the men’s and women’s singles respectively. Daniel defeated compatriot, Bryan Gui, 21-16, 19-21, 21-10, in a tightly fought matchup to take the gold. Meng Hui had an easier time in her final match, overcoming Bernadette Hanidjaja in two sets, 15-3, 15-7.
Daniel also bagged the men’s doubles title with Gabriel Goh. The feat was all the more impressive as they beat Roy Gan and Clement Ho, who play for their respective states in Malaysia. Also, Daniel only got into badminton a year ago: a huge contrast to Roy who started playing the sport a decade earlier than him.
During the match, Daniel utilised drop shots to great effect, frustrating his opponents. Both teams had a set in the bag before Daniel and Gabriel won the third and deciding one, 21-14, sealing the championship.
Compared to the brooding, competitive atmosphere that characterised the men’s doubles event, the women’s was a more boisterous affair. With only three teams vying for the top of the podium, their matches against each other took on an almost casual nature, with friendly jibes and taunts hauled at each other. Malaysians, Siti Rosmah and Zhi Yin, were the AGA 2012’s best women’s badminton team, while the pair of Hop Nguyen and Tuen Le did Vietnam proud in the mixed doubles event.