Saturday, 20 August 2016
GEORGE TOWN: A crowd of more than 1,000 cheered home favourite Datuk Lee Chong Wei in his Rio Olympics semi-final match against China’s Lin Dan at a public viewing at Gurney Paragon Mall.
The match was shown live on a giant screen at the sea-fronting open-air section of the mall. The best seats were already taken up 30 minutes before the start and the crowd swelled as the sun inched down.
The crowd noise level rose steadily as Chong Wei surged into a commanding lead in the second game before closing it out 21-11.
At the start of the rubber game, there was hardly any standing room in front of the screen, forcing latecomers to scurry to a nearby stretch of restaurants and bistros to catch the live action.
Chants of “Chong Wei! Chong Wei!” rang out every time the Malaysian shuttler painstakingly gained a point against the two-time Olympic gold medallist.
There was deathly silence when Lin Dan saved three match points to force a deuce at 20-20, only for the crowd to erupt in a joyous cheer when Chong Wei reeled off two straight points to book his place in the final.
Joining ordinary Malaysians were various leaders who took to Twitter to rejoice over Chong Wei’s stunning semi-finals victory.
Deputy Prime Minster Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi posted: “Congratulations @LeeChongWei for winning against Lin Dan. A very high fighting spirit was shown.”
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was at the Riocentro Pavilion 4 in Rio de Janeiro, posted a picture of national diver Pandelela Rinong embracing the shuttler moments after his triumph.
“This is the image Malaysia needs to see. Teamwork. Support. Passion. @Pandelela_R crying tears of joy for LCW,” he tweeted.
“Fantastic game that had us on the edge of our seats. Well done Dato’ @LeeChongWei. Finals!” tweeted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong was also among the quickest to react on Twitter: “Congrats LCW (Lee Chong Wei)! Malaysia boleh!”
Source by: The Star Online