Despite a valiant effort from Malaysia’s Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem, it was China’s Zhang Nan and Fu Haifeng who walked away with the men’s double gold medal at the Rio Olympics on Friday.
In a match that went right down to the wire, the Chinese duo triumphed at the death by the narrowest of margins, eventually wrapping up a 16-21, 21-11, 23-21 victory.
Goh and Tan came within one point of winning Malaysia’s first gold medal in Olympic history, but it wasn’t to be.
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 19, 2016
The Malaysian pair were quickest out of the blocks, taking the first game 21-16 to put themselves in prime position for a historic win.
But Fu, the defending Olympic doubles champion, and Zhang, already a mixed doubles bronze medallist in Rio, hit back strongly to dominate the second game and open up a sizable lead in the decider.
To Goh and Tan’s credit, however, they refused to give up and fought back to level the scores at 17-17 in the third and final game, having earlier trailed by as much five points.
The Malaysians then found themselves with a match point at 21-20, but the Chinese duo managed to fight back from the brink of defeat to win the last three points and clinch the closest of victories.
Despite the defeat, Goh and Tan can still be proud of winning the silver medal, and Malaysia will still have one big chance to capture their first gold medal when Lee Chong Wei faces Chen Long in Saturday’s men’s singles final.
If you played that well, even silver looks like gold. Congratulation to Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan. It was a match well fought, Goh & Tan.
— Kyo. (@OhhgoditsK) August 19, 2016