LETTER: Sheer determination, perseverance and self belief were the driving force behind our men's doubles badminton pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik winning the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics over the Indonesian world number 2 pair.
From the start of the competition, they were never seen as Olympic medal prospects because of their 9th world ranking and the tough draw that they were matched up with.
In the Group stages they were beaten by the same Indonesian world number 2 pair in straight sets but managed to qualify as runners up. In the quarter finals they defeated the former world number one pair from Indonesia and lost to the number one pair from China in the semi finals after a hard fought struggle.
And so when they walked into the badminton court for the bronze medal tie with the world number 2 Indonesian pair who had already beaten them in the Group stages earlier, there would have been so much of pressure and psychological disadvantage against them.
Their opponents were highly ranked and had defeated them just a few days before. They were also more experienced. Sure enough they lost the first set after a hard fought game of smashes and unbelievable drop shots.
It was close but the Indonesians had that extra edge. They oozed with confidence and and had a better track record over the Malaysian pair.
In the second set, the Malaysian pair were trailing the Indonesian pair with 5 points between them and everything was working for the Indonesians. The Indonesians were having the upper hand.
Watching the match over the television was indeed heart stopping and feverish. Many Malaysians following the game would have been sitting at the edge of their seats biting their finger nails in trepidation and anxiety.
And then suddenly, the Malaysian pair took the court by storm and slowly picked up their game and had the Indonesians making blunders and losing points.
The Malaysians won the second set through sheer determination and true grit. It was not easy to come back from behind and overcome the more experienced and highly ranked Indonesian pair.
In the final set the Malaysian pair played an exceptional high powered game of smashes and incredible drop shots to win over the Indonesian pair who were outplayed and outclassed.
Our pair dropped to the court in sheer ecstasy and joy when they clinched the final point which was decided by a camera review. They hugged and wept and counted their lucky stars for winning the match and giving Malaysia a bronze medal in the Olympics.
Malaysians salute them for their stunning display and performance. It was indeed a truly well deserving victory for the Malaysian pair. They overcame the odds to win.
They have shown that nothing is impossible if you put your heart and soul and mind to the game. Believe in yourself and you can overcome your adversities, however bigger and stronger they are.
Rise up to the challenge and take the bull by it's horns. In the midst of the gloom and doom over Covid-19, the Malaysian pair has brought us much respite and hope.
The Malaysian pair has shown us that victory is all in the mind. Defeat the negativity in the mind and you can do it. Malaysia Boleh!
Seremban, Negri Sembilan