Mixed doubles win another silver for Malaysia

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RIO DE JANEIRO: The Olympics badminton mixed doubles final ultimately proved too big a hurdle for the Malaysian pair of Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon.

However, they can still stand tall for bringing home another silver medal, helping Malaysia to achieve a new record medal haul at the Olympic Games. Goh and Chan are also the first mixed doubles pair from Malaysia to win an Olympic medal.

The duo struggled to keep up in the first set with the Indonesian pair of Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad from Indonesia tallying up a quick 8-2 lead within a few minutes.

The Goh-Chan fightback was evident but just not consistent enough to narrow the margin, and the Indonesians won the first set 21-14 in just 20 minutes.

The same gameplan continued in the second set with the Indonesians just proving too strong, winning long rallies with hard smashes which both Goh and Chan failed to return.

The Malaysians, however, did not let the gap widen beyond four points until after the halfway mark of the second set. The closest the Malaysians got to the Indonesians was 10-9, after having won three straight points, when being 10-6 down.

From leading 11-9, the gap between the Indonesian pair and the Malaysian pair soon widened to 16-10, and the Indonesians never looked back from then on, winning the second set 21-12 in just 22 minutes.

This was the second time both mixed doubles pairs had met at the Rio Olympics.

Last Saturday, in the Group Play Stage, Liliyana-Tontowi defeated Goh-Chan, also in straight sets, taking only 35 minutes to win 21-15, 21-11.

In their semifinal on Tuesday, Goh and Chan took just 45 minutes to defeat China’s Xu Chen and Ma Jin in straight sets, 21-12, 21-19, for a chance to play for the gold medal.

Malaysia’s next gold medal opportunity takes place on Friday night in the men’s doubles with Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong taking on China’s Zhang Nan and Fu Haifeng.