Mum’s special nasi lemak awaits Wee Kiong

Tan Yok Hua

PETALING JAYA: A special meal of nasi lemak lovingly prepared by his mother awaits Olympics silver medallist Tan Wee Kiong when he returns home after he and his partner Goh V. Shem came close to victory in a gripping men’s badminton doubles final last night.

“The family is looking forward to him coming home,” said his younger brother Wee Tat, at the family home in Tawau last night.

“I cannot wait to see him and celebrate with him. My Mum will definitely be cooking her nasi lemak for him, his favourite home cooked meal,” Wee Tat said, according to a Malay Mail Online report.

His mother, Tan Yok Hua, shed tears of joy after the gripping final, in which Wee Kiong and V Shem took their opponents, China’s Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan, to a rubber game and deuce before being defeated by 21-16, 11-21, 21-23.

“I’m happy he did very well. We’re all proud of him,” she was quoted as saying. “Even though he didn’t win gold, he got into the finals and won a silver despite it being his first time. It’s already beyond our expectations.”

Wee Kong and V. Shem, ranked 12th in the world, were unseeded in the tournament, but caused several upsets on their way to the final, defeating South Korea’s world No. 1 pair, Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Song in the quarter-final, and a higher-ranked Chinese pair of Chai Biao and Hong Wei in the semi-final.

“I’m very thankful for all the support Malaysians have given us throughout this Olympics,” said Wee Kiong’s mother, who watched the match on television at home with Wee Tat, and her daughter, Yun Ying. Friends and reporters kept them company.

“Of course, there is some disappointment, too. My sister was crying. It was a very tight game in the end. They got to two game points and played to a deuce,” said Wee Tat, a coach at the family’s Tawau Badminton Academy,

“We came so close to winning but maybe luck wasn’t on our side. At that level, and when it’s that close, there is some element of luck too,” he said.

Wee Tat said that he was proud of his brother, who had proved his detractors wrong and made it to the finals. “When they were down four points in the third set, they fought for every point till they caught up and took the lead right up to game point. I think they showed Malaysians never to give up and also proved themselves to their critics who said they would not get past the quarterfinals.”

Wee Tat said his brother had made many sacrifices for the sport, which included being away from the family since he was 13. Wee Tat said the family rarely got together for dinner because of Wee Kiong’s training and their conflicting schedules.

“But I hope I get to see him soon. The family is looking forward to him coming home. I cannot wait to see him and celebrate with him,” he was quoted as saying.