With Tokyo Olympics (July 23-August 8) taking place soon, learning some local lingo could prove crucial, which Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying duly did with their Japanese counterparts.
Nozomi Okuhara, Kento Momota and Akane Yamaguchi were among the shuttlers who uttered key phrases in Japanese, to which Chan-Goh tried to mimic as accurately as possible.
Arigato Gozaimasu (thank you), Douitashimashite (You’re welcome), Konnichiwa ogenki desuka (Hello, how are you?), Itadakimasu (Let’s eat), Ohayogozaimasu (Good morning) were among the words thrown to the pair.
Japanese lessons aside, the mixed doubles pair already got down to serious business preparing for their third Olympics appearance by joining the centralised camp at the Academy Badminton Malaysia.
Goh was elated but also aware this would be a unique Games due to the pandemic.
“It will be a different Olympics this time. We will have lots of standard operating procedures to adhere to. We have to not only focus on getting a good result, but also be careful and safe at all times,” she told Stadium Astro.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed a total of eight shuttlers who would make the trip to Tokyo.
Besides Chan-Goh, Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles), Soniia Cheah (women’s singles), Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles), Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles) are the rest going to be in action.
Two para shuttlers also the made the cut to the Olympics: Cheah Liek Hou (men’s singles standing Upper 5) and Didin Tareson (men’s singles Short Stature 6).
“Finally I am an Olympian. Next target for me is to create history to win the first gold for Malaysia in badminton,” Cheah, one of the favourites to win gold, said after the official shuttlers list to Tokyo was out.
Para-badminton is set to be introduced for the first time at the Paralympics Games in Tokyo.