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TOKYO: The critics, especially the keyboard warriors, can say what they want on social media, but mixed doubles shuttler Goh Liu Ying(pix) does not intend to dwell on it too much.

The 32-year-old said that like all sports fans in Malaysia, she and her partner, Chan Peng Soon, were also disappointed with their failure to make an impact here despite having given their best.

“I understand they (netizens) have placed high hopes on us. That’s why they criticised our performance (at the Tokyo Olympics). But, for me, the most important thing about being an athlete is that we gave our best.

“We play to win… for ourselves and the nation. If their comments are positive, we will accept, but if they are negative to the extent that our performance is affected, then I won’t bother,” she said when met at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza here.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Peng Soon-Liu Ying failed to win any of their three group matches at the Tokyo Olympics and that resulted in netizens hurling online abuses on the pair on social media.

In their opening match, the national number one pair fell 18-21, 21-10, 16-21 to Hong Kong’s Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet. They then went down 12-21, 15-21 to Germans Mark Lamsfuss-Isabel Herttrich.

In their final group match on Monday (July 26), world number seven Peng Soon-Liu Ying lost 13-21, 19-21 to China’s world number three pair Wang Yilyu-Huang Dong Ping.

Liu Ying said she’d rather listen to what her coach had to say in a bid to improve her combination with Peng Soon on the court.

“I feel that there is no need to bother about the comments by them (netizens). I will only listen to comments from my coach about any weaknesses in my game as he (the coach) is an important person in determining my style of play.

“I know they (fans) have placed high hopes on us but if their comments do not help us improve our performance, then we won’t take it,” she said, adding that she appreciated the continued support of various parties, especially her family, in facing the challenging situation.

Liu Ying, who suffered a leg injury during the Tokyo Olympics, said that her focus now would be on qualifying for the World Championships and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals at the end of this year.

Liu Ying, who said that she was not trying to give excuses, explained that like other athletes, they too were affected by the various challenges and obstacles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic which, to some extent, affected their performance here.

“They (netizens) perhaps take five seconds on the keyboard (to post negative comments), but we have been preparing for two, three years for the Olympics. But we can’t explain what we have done… it’s not easy to qualify for the Olympics.

“Still, as long as I have done my best and didn’t offend anyone, that’s good enough. We have done all we can for the country. In fact, we have toiled for 12 years and played in three Olympics for the country… that is very meaningful to us,” she said.

Meanwhile, Peng Soon expressed his appreciation for the continued support by various parties, including Malaysian sports fans, despite their failure here.

“We cannot stop anyone from commenting. We are now like artistes, we cannot run away from such comments.

“But many fans still support us. Out of 10 people, maybe one or two may give unfavourable comments but the other eight still support us,” he said, while acknowledging that he and Liu Ying were not at their best here. -Bernama



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