It was a smashing game all the way – from start to finish. The Indonesians were too good for the Malaysians on the court and it was obvious, silver was our destiny in the badminton mixed doubles in Rio last night.
Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon could not hold the match from the very first serving against Indonesians Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir, and as many of us peeked through our fingers, we knew it was over from the first half of the game itself.
However, our local pair did what they could, they gave it their best, and they joined Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong and Azizulhasni Awang.
Pandelela and Cheong took silver in women’s 10m platform synchronised while Azizulhasni took the bronze in the cycling event men’s Keirin final.
As badminton is a staple game for Malaysians, back home, millions of Malaysians stayed up late into the night to cheer for Goh and Chan, at kedai mamaks, on their handphones and on Astro.
Thanks to technology, many got to watch it on Asto Live on Youtube.
While many of us were completely focused on the game of Goh and Chan yesterday, there seemed to be a lack of shame among those who were watching it online.
There were too many racist remarks and unnecessary cussing. Yesterday, if the world had been watching, we showed them that Malaysians who were connected online had a lack of decorum and manners when it comes to commenting online.
Many also had no sportsmanship, as they cursed the Indonesian pair who were smashingly good on the court.
Quite a number gave racist digs and made fun of the Indonesians winning gold but having to come to work here as labourers.
Many others made fun of the fact of how Liyana looked like, to the extent of saying that Indonesia could not find a woman to be in the mixed doubles.
It was embarrassing to the utmost and one could only hope that no foreigners were on that Youtube streaming of Astro live.
And when we lost, the “F” and “S” words showed that our keyboard sportsmen did not know how to take a defeat. It was shameful indeed, for there may have been a number of Indonesians watching too.
Our sportsmen and sportswomen have been training all their lives to get to where they are now, and they have given all they have got and will give more. The same goes for the Indonesian players.
As for our local players, only now that they are shining on the world stage, is our government and corporate sponsors actually rewarding them – and it may be their first house or first car for them with this win.
Heck, even winning a sllver would not help them to buy a house easily, and when their youth slips away, they would have to find a job to keep them in old age.
And for many sports people, in Malaysia, there are not many jobs if you do not have proper qualifications, and these are the qualifications our Olympic warriors forego to train for Olympics.
These people play sports full time, and they are warriors on the court, in the fields and in the pool. It is not easy for them to get bank loans or scholarships, for first they have to prove they can win before those with money or power believe in them.
They have begged for help, they have waited their whole life to be noticed and yet, small things by us can bring them shame.
To the keyboard commentators, just shut up and watch and stop commenting if you have nothing nice to say, for you do not help our players in any way.
We now wait to see if men’s double Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong, our men’s single Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Pandelela Rinong or Nur Dhabitah Sabri (who just qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s 10 platform individual) will get us that elusive Olympic gold.
No matter if we win bronze, silver or gold, what matters most is that we went down playing and our dignity intact.
That dignity is what we Malaysians have to keep while our players play their best.