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Badminton Heros Unheralded

Yeo (left), coach Nor Kamal and Teh ... ‘it seems efforts went unnoticed’.

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 03, 2008) : While national shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei was heaped with praises and accolades for winning the silver medal in the Olympics singles, two badminton heroes who won gold in an international doubles event were "ignored and forgotten".

One of them, Thomas Teh, 40, told theSun that he and his partner, Yeo Kok Fang, 32, won the men’s doubles gold medal in the Germany 2007 Second World Deaf Badminton Championship.

"We were surprised and disappointed that when we returned with gold medals in September last year, no government officials were there to welcome our team home," he said.

Only representatives from the Malaysian Sports Federation of the Deaf and a few friends were at KL International Airport to welcome and congratulate them.

"We won gold for the first time in the history of Malaysian badminton in a world badminton event, yet no government officials were there to welcome us," he said. They also did not receive any official congratulatory message or letter.

Teh said they trained hard for the event and had aimed for gold. "We wanted to do Malaysia proud but it seems that our efforts went unnoticed," he said, adding that this non-response by the government showed there is a clear discrimination against the hearing-impaired.

He said their win showed that even though they are hearing-impaired, they could still do the country proud and the least that the government could do is to acknowledge this.

Teh and Yeo had trained for three weeks at the Kampung Pandan Sports Complex in September last year before heading to Germany.

Source: The Sun

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