Monday, 13 August 2012
Going for gold
Why the increase in interest this time? Maybe because London is a place I am familiar with... but the real reason must be that Astro had so many channels on offer.
I have never watched archery before. I never knew about the format of competition, the method of scoring or which nation was favourite to win. This time, I learned a bit about the sport by watching it on television. The main reason for my interest is because Malaysia participated in the event. We did not win anything in archery but I believe we are in the right direction. A bit more training and talent search, I think we can be in the top flight of this sport quite soon.
I remember a chat I had with a friend, a long long time ago, about the chances of Malaysia ever winning a medal at the Olympics. At that time, badminton was not yet an Olympic sport. We had a few good track & field athletes but they never stood a chance against the well-trained and physically superior Americans and Europeans. The well-known Olympic phrase of `not about the winning but the taking part' was starting to sound bland. My friend mentioned that if we can't match our opponents in terms of physique, then we should involve ourselves in other sports that rely more on skill rather than just pure strength. Sports like shooting and archery.
Over the years, we have seen more of our participation in such sports. The medals aren't coming in yet but if we keep at it, I'm pretty sure we will have a champion soon. Just look at the sport of diving. Pandelela's bronze medal is something to be proud of after many years of hard work. The sporting authorities should build on this success and make diving into a more popular sport. Hopefully we can have both male and female winners in diving at the next session in Rio.
With 2 medals (1 silver and 1 bronze), it is the best Olympics we have had. Malaysia ranks no.63 in the medal tally, not as good as some less-developed nations (Ethiopia or Mongolia) but still better than our richer neighbour. I watched the badminton singles final match and I think Lee Chong Wei did his best. I don't think he can do any better in 4-years time, so BAM should perhaps plan for another strategy. We sorely need a replacement for Chong Wei. In fact, we should also have a top-class doubles pair too so that we have more options in our search for that elusive Olympic gold...