KUALA LUMPUR: Rio 2016 saw fresh-faced Gavin Green (pix) and Kelly Tan making their Olympics debut but things did not go to plan for both golfers.
Gavin finished 47th in men’s individual while Kelly was ranked 51st in the women’s individual event in Rio 2016.
But their Olympics dream didn’t vanish into thin air. At least, not for now.
Fast forward five years later, Gavin and Kelly are more ready than ever to tee off at the Tokyo Olympics, which will be held from July 23 till Aug 8.
Malaysian golf team manager for Tokyo Olympics, Boo Chi Chai said both golfers have been working so hard for the past five years to qualify among the top 60 around the globe for the Olympics and are eagerly looking forward to shine in the Land of the Rising Sun.
However, Boo is a tad bit wary of their recent form as both of them were not exactly top-notch performances as of late.
“They might not be on their A-game currently as they have missed several cuts in their recent tournament but I believe nothing is impossible in the Olympics.
“If all goes well then I would not be surprised that both Gavin and Kelly could spark some fireworks,” he told Bernama when contacted.
Gavin, who is currently playing in the European Tour, missed the cut at the abrdn Scottish Open in Scotland last weekend while Kelly, who competes in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour endured a similar fate at the Marathon LPGA Classic in Ohio, United States of America, also on the same weekend.
Gavin, 27, qualified for the Games after he was ranked 55th out of 60 while Kelly, 27, was ranked 42nd out of 60 in the Olympic golf ranking.
Meanwhile, Boo, who is also the Malaysian Golf Association vice president, said they did not set any podium target for Gavin and Kelly in Tokyo Olympics so as not to put unnecessary burden on them.
“Both had indicated they will go all out and are in top fighting spirit to try and achieve the best for our country,” he added.
In the meantime, Boo had advised both golfers not to get intimidated by other top players in the field and asked them to concentrate on playing for one shot, one hole and one round of 18 holes at a time.
The golf events in Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 29-Aug 7, at Kasumigaseki Country Club, Saitama, about 65 kilometres from Tokyo.-Bernama