Badminton is one of Malaysia’s most popular sports; from little kids hitting their rackets across the partition of terrace houses to persistently harnessing swifter strokes in the school halls for competitions. So it comes as no surprise that players like Dato’ Lee Chong Wei and the Sidek brothers have become household names for Malaysians, even for those who don’t follow the sport religiously.
Aside from the Sidek brothers and Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia also has a number of other talented and inspiring badminton players. Here are several other badminton players in Malaysia you should know.
1 & 2. Chan Peng Soon and Goh Yiu Ling
A father of two, Chan Peng Soon and his Malacca-born partner, Goh Liu Ying have achieved the highest world ranking at No. 3 in the mixed doubles category. When Chan and Goh won the first Super series title in Japan, it was Malaysia’s first major mixed title of the millennium.
However, Lai Pei Jing was enlisted as Chan’s new partner due to Goh’s knee injury. But after 11 long months of recovery, Goh has resumed to play competitively with Chan once again, advancing to the quarter-finals in the doubles category at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The pair defied all odds and made it into the finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics after defeating higher ranked opponents. They brought home a silver for Malaysia, losing out in the finals to world the world No.3 pair from Indonesia. As of August 2016, they rank at No. 11.
3 & 4. Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong
Tan Wee Kiong started off as a mixed doubles player but then went into men’s doubles, partnerning with Woon Khe Wei. in the World Junior Championships in 2006 and 2006. Later on, Wee Kiong partnered with Hoon Thien How, and the pair reach a career high world ranking at No.7 and winning the their first career title at the 2013 Macau Open.
Goh V Shem partnered a number of different players in men’s doubles events before being paired with his current partner, Tan Wee Kiong in 2014. Prior to the partnership, V Shem bagged a number of medals in various events, including gold at the 2007 Asian Junior Championships for mixed doubles events. Goh V Shem was originally Goh Wei Shem. He officially changed his name to V Shem for good luck with the ‘V’ standing for victory, after his father advised him to do so.
After teaming up, the pair won gold in their first international debut as a pair at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, beating out several highly ranked players. In 2016, Goh and Tan won their first title together at the 2016 US Open and then went on to win the Indian Grand Prix. The 2016 Rio Olympics was the first time for them on that stage, and they won all their matched in the group stage and making it into the finals. They lost out to China’s Fu/Zhang, taking home the silver. As of August 2016, they rank 11th on the world stage.
5 & 6. Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong
Koo Kien Keat from Ipoh started playing badminton at the age of 17. Koo is a former Asian Junior Champion who went on to win the bronze medal in the 2005 World Championships with then-partner, Chan Chong Ming. Koo’s most recent official doubles partner, Tan Boon Heong won the bronze and silver medal at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships. At the same time, they were also ranked No. 1 worldwide.
Koo’s and Tan’s dynamic and explosive game style earned them their gold medals. Unfortunately, their winning streak came to an end eventually and after an early round exit in 2013 and a four-year title drought, Koo resigned and became a dual trainer and player for the Granular Club of Thailand. However, in June of 2014, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed that the 29-year-old national shuttler will be participating in the 2014 World Championships with Tan for the last time. Their last match together was in the third round where they lost to a pair from Taipei, with a score of 19-21 in the deciding game.
The pair rank 16th in the world rankings as of August 2016.
6. Misbun Ramdan Misbun
Misbun Ramdan Misbun is the son of former Malaysian international badminton player Misbun Sidek. Despite the pressure of having a famous father, Ramdan won his first local title by himself in the men’s singles final at the 2012 Pahang Open. In the same year, he established himself as an adept national champion for the first time when he single-handedly defeated Chong Wei Feng.
In January 2013, Ramdan left BAM to train under his father and won the Irish Open, Greece International, Slovenia International and the Portuguese International.
7. Tee Jing Yi
Tee Jing Yi is another talented Malaysian player who started playing badminton enthusiastically at an early age. She represented her school from district to state and was eventually enlisted by the national team where she made a breakthrough in the international scene through sheer hard work, determination and talent.
Tee also won the Vietnam International Tournament in 2011. She trains six days a week under Coach Wong Tat Meng in the long-term hopes of winning a Super Series.
Read this: 6 Malaysian Athletes You Should Know
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