Meet our female Olympians: Goh Liu Ying
The Malaysian athlete is one of the top 10 badminton players in the world's mixed doubles event
[Updated 17 August 2016] After defeating China and Poland to advance to the finals, Goh Liu Ying and her badminton mixed doubles partner Chan Peng Soon will be going up against Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir later tonight.
Good luck, you two!
Hailing from Melaka, 26-year-old Goh Liu Ying is one of our professional female badminton players who will compete in the mixed doubles category at this year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She will compete alongside her partner Chan Peng Soon. The two have achieved the ranking of Top 10 in the world's mixed doubles event and like the other athletes we've profiled this month, Goh Liu Ying also competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Here she tells us about her biggest challenges and how she prepares for the upcoming Games.
How do you feel about going to the Olympics?
This is my second time participating in the Olympics. I feel very proud because I have the chance to represent my beloved country again. This opportunity is one of my biggest achievements.
How do you think you'll feel when you walk into the stadium at the opening ceremony?
I'll feel very nervous because I am able to represent my country in one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It's such a huge honour too and the pressure to win is high.
Will any of your friends and family be there?
My family was planning to support me with their presence but because of the long flight and the risk of contracting the Zika virus, they have changed their minds.
When did you first start training in the sport, and how did you get into it?
My dad brought me to my first game of badminton when I was 10 years old. Ever since then, I grew to love the game and got very good at it. Badminton became one of my favourite sports.
How old were you when you first started to dream of competing at the Olympics?
The Olympics has been a huge goal for me ever since I enrolled into the Bukit Jalil Sports School when I was 13 years old. I wanted to qualify for the Games so I trained hard every day and always made sure I performed better in every tournament match.
Can you take us through a typical day in your life right now, in the lead up to the Games?
Every morning, after breakfast, I will join the training session being conducted. It'll go on until lunch time and then I'll stop training to have my lunch, and squeeze in a nap before I go for the afternoon training session. At night, I will usually hang out with my friends or family.
How many hours a day do you train?
I train twice a day from Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays, I have three hours of training in the morning and two hours of training in the afternoon.
What do you do to relax?
I wind down by listening to music and reading.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced up until now?
I think the biggest challenge for me is that I have to ensure that I am able to perform better every time, especially after my knee surgery in 2014. It took me 8 months of recovery and during that time I faced financial difficulties because I was unable to join any tournaments and couldn't support myself. But after those 8 months, I picked myself back up and gained the courage to continue pursuing my career.
What is something that no one understands about what you do?
When I lose a match, my supporters can't accept my loss. They don't seem to understand that my partner and I have tried our very best to win every match and we always receive negative feedback after every game. I also find it hard to pursue other things besides my career in badminton as no one can understand why I want to do something else besides playing the sport. They don't see that I have other interests besides the game.
How do you stay motivated? Do you have any particular motto, philosophy, music, or mentor who inspires you?
I think the biggest motivation comes from my family, friends, and my supporters. They always lift my spirits up when I am down.