The Olympic silver medal won by national men’s doubles player Tan Wee Kiong is something very meaningful to his father, Tan Cham Swe.
The owner of the Tawau Badminton Academy had to make huge sacrifices by being separated from his son after Wee Kiong was offered a place in the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) when he was just 13 years old.
Wee Kiong, who was born on May 21 1989 in Tangkak, Johor, started holding the racket when he was six years old, had to learn to live away from the family since then.
“I started teaching him to play badminton when he was just six as I could see his talent. After that (BJSS), we shifted to Tawau and only saw him twice a year.
“I really marvel at him for being so self-reliant from such a young tender age,” he told reporters while waiting for the return of his son with the badminton and diving contingents from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Bunga Raya Complex, KL International Aiport (KLIA) in Sepang today.
Also smiling happily at Wee Kiong’s success was his younger sister, Tan Yun Ying, 15, who wanted to see her brother becoming an Olympic champion in Tokyo in 2020.
“I am very proud of him and he is my hero... I am very excited and happy that he won the silver medal,” she said.
Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem took the silver medal after losing to Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan of China in the final in Rio.