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Did You Know Malaysia’s First-Ever Olympic Medal Was Won In 1992? Here’s The Story Behind It


1992 Barcelona Olympics 2
Source: Berita Harian & The Star

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Since it’s the Olympic season, let’s take a trip down memory lane…

After Malaysia’s badminton men’s double representatives Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik won Malaysia’s first medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, we wanted to explore the story behind Malaysia’s first-ever Olympic medal.

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics was the first event that included badminton in its roster of sports and it was also the first Olympic Games for Malaysian shuttlers.

Three months prior to the Olympic Games, the Malaysian players had won the Thomas Cup Finals for the fifth time meaning that hopes were high as everyone looked to etch their names into the history books of the Olympics.

Msia Thomas Cup 1992

According to Olympedia, history was then made in Barcelona when the iconic Sidek brothers, Razif-Jalani delivered Malaysia’s first-ever Olympic medal with a bronze in the men’s doubles.

The pair faced fierce competition and lost (11-15) (13-15) in straight sets during the semi-finals to eventual champions Kim Moon-soo-& Park Joo-bong of South Korea in the semi-finals.

Back then, there were no playoffs for the bronze medal hence the Malaysian pair as well as China’s Li Yongbo & Tian Bingyi were named as the joint third-place winners.

The Star Olympic 1992

But their path to the bronze medal was no small feat. They won against Indian pair Vimal Kumar & Deepankar Bhattacharya (15-6) (15-3) in the first round, Danish pair Jon Holst-Christensen & Thomas Lund (15-12) (15-6) in the second round and Japanese pair Shuji Matsuno
& Shinji Matsuura (15-5) (15-4) in the quarter-finals.

In an interview with The Star, Datuk Razif Sidek said that “Badminton was introduced at the Barcelona Games and, naturally, the spotlight was on our badminton team that year. I am glad that Jalani and I made history by being the first shuttlers to deliver the goods, albeit a bronze”.

Since then, the pair have inspired the way for more medal winners in badminton as well as other sports, however, the gold medal has remained out of reach for now.

Msia Olympic 1992

As of 2021, Malaysia has won a total of 12 medals in the Olympics including 9 from badminton, two from diving and one from cycling. The other badminton related Olympic medals that came after the Sidek pair include:

  • Rashid Sidek (men’s singles, bronze, 1996 Atlanta),
  • Cheah Soon Kit & Yap Kim Hock (men’s doubles, silver, 1996 Atlanta),
  • Lee Chong Wei (men’s singles, silvers, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio),
  • Goh V Shem & Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles, silver, 2016 Rio),
  • Chan Peng Soon & Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles, silver, 2016 Rio),
  • Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik’s (men’s doubles, bronze, 2020 Tokyo).

In diving, the medals came from Pandelela Rinong (women’s 10-metre platform, bronze, 2012 London) and Cheong Jun Hoong & Pandelela Rinong (women’s synchronised 10-metre platform, silver, 2016 Rio).

Meanwhile, ‘pocket rocketman’ Azizulhasni Awang won Malaysia’s first cycling medal during the 2016 Rio Olympics in the event of men’s keirin.

Our athletes have worked so hard to put Malaysia on the map. They deserve all the respect and support from us. So let’s continue to support our national athletes in the upcoming Olympics games!

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know in the comment section below!


Also read: Aaron-Wooi Yik Win Malaysia’s First Medal In The 2020 Tokyo Olympics!Bronze Ft W

Source: Astro Awani
Source: The Star
Source: Imgur

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