The renaissance of Malaysian badminton and the Sidek brothers are more often than not, mentioned in the same breath.
Jalani-Razif had delivered the sport’s first ever medal for the national contingent at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, before Rashid emulated their feat in the men’s singles four years later at the Atlanta Games.
Between these four years, the brothers also helped Malaysia to the Thomas Cup victory in 1992 on home soil.
Razif and Rashid then took up the coaching route and found renewed success as the national team coaches.
While Razif's stint with the national body was short, Rashid had Lee Chong Wei under his wing whom he turned into a world class shuttler.
Now, he can stake claim of moulding Cheah Liek Hou into a Paralympics gold medalist who has won everything the sport has to offer.
Cheah beat Indonesia’s world number one Dheva Anrimusthi 21-17, 21-15 on Saturday to win Malaysia’s second gold at the Tokyo Paralympics.
The 33-year-old SU5 para-shuttler (standing upper 5, upper body impairment) was reinvented under Rashid’s guidance, since turning to the national icon for help two years ago.
Cheah began training with able-bodied shuttlers under Rashid, and as a result his skills, footwork and intensity improved immensely.
Now, Rashid’s star para-shuttler is the country’s first Paralympics gold medalist in badminton, with a 36-match unbeaten record dating back to 2019.
“To help Cheah win gold, after winning bronze as a player is one of the highlights of my career and is something I am extremely proud of. I got emotional after seeing him win that gold.
“He wanted to win it badly, and as a coach I wanted to help him win it too. I’m glad we made it happen,” said Rashid, who had the gold medal placed around him by Cheah in a recent interview with Astro Arena.
The Tokyo Paralympics was an unforgettable experience for the former world number one, who had also reacquainted with his podium rivals from the 1996 Games.
Atlanta 96 gold medal winner Poul-Erik Hoyer was there in his capacity as Badminton World Federation president, while Dong Jiong who beat Rashid in their semi-final clash 25 years ago, is also a para-shuttler coach.
Cheah, Rashid and the rest of the national contingent arrived back home yesterday, undergoing a 14-day quarantine period at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur before being reunited with their families.