It has been a long wait indeed. But the one-year removed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics has finally come and gone with Malaysia securing an admirable two-medal (no gold yet, unfortunately) tally this time around.
And like Malaysia’s numerous attempts in the past trying to stand toe-to-toe with the big players in the international sporting scene, the fittest and greatest Malaysian athletes that the country has to offer once again congregated and went all out in order to bring home the country’s first taste of the prestigious gold medal.
In this latest attempt, the Olympic Council of Malaysia sent a total of 30 athletes to represent the Malayan nation in 10 sporting categories like archery, badminton, diving, etc. Of course, there were definitely standouts in this batch of athletes as well, while the mainstays in past events sought to prove their worth in this unprecedented Olympic games. This is not to undermine the rest of our Olympian’s hard work and effort, but here are some standouts from the most recent Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
We’ll start off with our most recent batch of high achievers (in fact, they all are), for which Malaysia scored Silver and Bronze medals in the Men’s Keirin in cycling and Men’s doubles in badminton respectively.
- Azizulhasni Awang: At a height of 1.66m, he is nicknamed “The Pocket Rocketman” due to his smaller stature that is still explosive nonetheless. He is also the first and only Malaysian cyclist to win a medal at the Summer Olympics — winning the silver medal in the individual keirin in the most recent global sporting event.
- Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik: The Malaysian badminton duo were the first to bring glory to the country in the Tokyo Olympics as they overcame an intense challenge from three-time world champions Mohamad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan from Indonesia in the hotly contested bronze medal playoff.
Other Notable Malaysian Olympians
While not securing a placing on the podium compared to their medal-winning compatriots, these Malaysian athletes still proved that they had the skill and talent (most importantly, massive future potential) to match up with some of the world’s greatest sportsmen/women in their respective fields.
- Farah Ann Abdul Hadi: Competing in the all-around event in gymnastics, Farah Ann became the first Malaysian woman to qualify for the Olympics after a 20 year (athlete) draught when she finished 16th out of 20 in the qualifying session at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart in Germany. In accomplishing this feat, Farah Ann also became only the third Malaysian gymnast to qualify for the Summer Games. And while her overall results may have been disappointing this time around (finishing 68th out of 85 competitors), her relatively young age means that she has more than ample time to gain experience and work on her craft for the next Olympics.
- Lee Zii Jia: As the de facto successor (taking the baton from Datuk Lee Chong Wei) for Malaysia’s badminton gold medal hopes, this young badminton player was under a lot of immense pressure from the get-go. And in the Summer Olympics event, Lee managed to battle his way to a final 16 finish, where he was defeated by the eventual runner-up and former gold medalist, Chen Long. Likewise, nerves may have gotten the better of the 23-year old but we believe that he’ll certainly come back more experienced and better than ever.
- Nur Dhabitah Sabri: Otherwise known as Dhabitah, this cheery Malaysian diver has won the hearts of all her countrymen and women with her positive demeanour and Olympic-grade, bright smile after just narrowingly missing out on the bronze in the women’s individual 3m springboard competition. And like the other mentioned names in this list, Dhabitah has a bright future ahead as the world-class diver is only 22 years old! Keep on smiling, Dhabitah.