PETALING JAYA: When Goh V Shem joins Tan Wee Kiong in the Olympics badminton men’s doubles final tonight (Malaysian time), the former will be hoping that the decision to change his name in 2012 will finally pay off.
Living with the name Goh Wei Shem for the first 23 years of his life, he decided four years ago that the “Wei” was not the way (pun intended) forward any longer.
Seeking out some good “feng shui”, he changed his name and removed the “Wei”, replacing it with the letter “V”, which he reportedly said represented victory and was also “better for him”
From the statistics of his professional career before partnering Tan, the name change may not have made much difference.
But just two years later, in 2014, after partnering Tan, the duo went on to win the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow, being the only non-seeded badminton champions at the Games.
This year, Goh and Tan have already won the US Open and Indian Grand Prix Gold, and now need the “good fortune” from Goh’s “new name” more than ever.
In Rio so far, they have defeated world number one pair, South Korea’s Lee Yong-Dae and Yoo Yen-Seong, in the quarterfinals and followed that by beating world number five, China’s Chai Biao and Hong Wei, in the semifinals.
Now, the Malaysian pair ranked 12, according to the Badminton World Federation (BWF), will take on world number four, Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan, also from China, for what could be Malaysia’s first ever gold medal in the Olympic Games.
Malaysians will be glued to their TV sets tonight, cheering on Lee Chong Wei in his match against perennial rival Lin Dan in the men’s singles semifinals from 7.30pm.
However, after sitting through three more matches – including the women’s singles final and the second men’s singles semifinal – the whole nation will be awaiting the start of the men’s doubles final, hoping for a V-ictorious climax to the day.