NEWS : No medal but S'pore cheers tearful Jiawei

Discussion in 'ATHENS 2004 non-badminton events' started by kwun, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    No medal but S'pore cheers tearful Jiawei

    By Tay Cheng Khoon - The Straits Times.

    THE pressure of delivering Singapore's second Olympic Games medal proved too much for Li Jiawei to shoulder, the 23-year-old collapsing in the bronze medal play-off against South Korean Kim Kyung Ah 1-4 yesterday.

    Although Kim, at No. 6 in the world, is ranked two spots higher than the Singapore player, Li had been expected to win as she had beaten her in their two previous meetings, the latest being at the US Open.

    But Li was never in contention. Mentally, she was drained, physically she couldn't raise the power to attack and destroy the opponent's patient chopping game.

    Despite taking the opening game 11-9, she went down meekly in the remaining four 8-11, 7-11, 5-11, 8-11 - the dream of Olympic glory evaporating in 41 minutes.

    Still, there was loud applause for Jiawei at the National Day Rally last night, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described how he had spoken to the tearful player before delivering his speech.

    She had told him she was very sad. And he told her not to cry, because it had not been easy making the last four at the Olympics.

    His message to her: 'Sports isn't just medals. It's doing our best, trying again, overcoming setbacks, depending on each other, being part of Team Singapore.'

    Said Mr Ng Ser Miang, an International Olympic Committee member: 'In other countries, the medal expectations are spread over many athletes. Here, only two or three bear that responsibility - Jiawei, Zhang Xueling and badminton player Ronald Susilo.

    'Xueling and Ronald both made the quarter-finals, Ronald even beating world No. 1 Lin Dan.

    'That shows that, since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when Jing Junhong finished fourth, Singaporeans are now coming to the Games, not as spectators, but as medal contenders.

    'We are progressing and maybe, come Beijing 2008, we will get the medals.'

    The only medal Singapore has is a weightlifting silver won by Tan Howe Liang at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

    Li's defeat ends the Athens Olympic adventure for Singaporeans. Apart from Lee Wung Yew, who had a decent outing at trap shooting, the others - five swimmers, two athletes and a sailor - performed below expectations.
     

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  2. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    it is so sad that both Ronald and Jiawei made it into the bronze match but both came out number 4.

    it is romantic in a sense, i guess. but i think both would prefered to have ended up on the podium.
     
  3. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    yah, it sucks to be #4, there's nothing for being #4 :(
     
  4. Jonno

    Jonno Regular Member

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    It's a shame that they have to play bronze medal matches really. Losing semi-finalists are always going to be disappointed, and often the matches are of a poor standard, take as an example the XD playoff this year, or the MS game in 2000. They should just give out bronzes to all losing semi-finalists.
     
  5. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    ops. my mistake. Ronald didn't make it to the Bronze match.

    all these lack of sleep is finally catching up on me...
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yes, Ronald did not make it to the QF as he lost to Boonsak, who unfortunately lost to Sony in the QF.

    Jiawei must be very disappointed for not captalizing on a 3-1 lead against North Korean Kim in the QF as one more winning set will put her in the SF and at least a silver, with half a million Sing Dollors to go with it. She must have lost much confidence in her QF match against the South Korean, whom she recently beat in the US Open and a quarter million dollars again slipped from her hands for a bronze!

    But I can tell you, Singapore is just thrilled with both Ronald's and Jiawei's performance, as our new PM Lee Hsien Loong has personally spoken. This young couple has brought Singapore to the notice of the sporting world through the highly effective medium of the TV during this Olympics where the other athletes completely fizzled out during the first round!

    Of course I'm very happy that Ronald represented Singapore in badminton and created the biggest upset of the tournament by beating Lin Dan. If only, he believes in himself more and continues with his giant-killing performance throughout the tournament, then Singpaore badminton will really prosper. Then our BF forum will have many more participants from Singapore! :D
     
  7. Hugo

    Hugo Regular Member

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    Li Jiawei performed well above expectations and she and all Singaporeans should be proud of her acheivements! To make final 4 in a discipline that is super-competitive and dominated by the Chinese and Koreans is no small feat. Congrats to her.

    Here's another little amusing tidbit of info: in 1996 when Singapore was choosing table tennis players from China to be future Singapore national players, they nearly chose China's current Olympic Champion Zhang Yining!! She was a junior at the time and had been on Singapore's final list. They eventually decided to pick Li Jiawei though. Wow, to think that China's gold medallists coulda been playing for another country this year???!!!!
     

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