LONDON – Malaysia’s hopes of landing the country’s first ever Olympics gold medal were kept alive with national men’s shuttlers Datuk Lee Chong Wei and doubles pair Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong beating their respective opponents to advance to the semi-finals yesterday, Day Six of the 2012 London Olympics.
Koo and Tan, the world number eight pair, were the first to bring the all-needed cheer to the Malaysian camp after their despatched their quarterfinal opponents Isara Bodin/Jongit Maneepong of Thailand 21-16, 21-18 in 43 minutes at the Wembley Arena here.
World number two pair Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng of China stand in their way of being gold medal contenders in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei, the world number two and top seed in the men’s singles competition, as expected delivered the goods when he cruised into the semi-finals after defeating Kashyap Parupali from India 21-19, 21-11 in 44 minutes in today’s quarterfinals.
He will face Chen Long of China in the semi-final at 9.30pm Malaysian time tomorrow.
Chong Wei won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
However, in aquatics, Khoo Cai Lin, the only Malaysian swimmer to feature in Heats 2 of the Women’s 800m freestyle event, failed to make the cut after clocking eight minutes 51.18 seconds to clinch sixth spot out of eight competitors.
Her time was 16.000 seconds adrift of the leader, Julia Hassler of Liechtenstein who posted 8:35.18s. Only the top swimmers in each of the eight heats qualify for the final.
Also tomorrow, at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, national archer Khairul Anuar Mohamad stands a chance to make the final of the men’s recurve individual event.
But first, the Malaysian will have to face Larry Godfrey of Great Britain in the third elimination round.
Other Malaysians in action tomorrow are Cheong Jui Hoong/Ng Yan Yee who will be competing in the women’s 3m springboard diving event while Fatehah Mustafa will get her first taste of the Olympics when she takes part in the Women’s Keirin cycling event. — Bernama