By Patrick Beech
Recently, at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Malaysia won not only the badminton match, but also the hearts of many.
Jamaica national champion Samuel Rickets encountered problems with his shoes, and Malaysia coach Hendrawan came to his rescue during a group match between the two countries.
Rickets was playing against Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong when one of his shoes was damaged.
Hendrawan promptly took off his own shoes and gave them to Rickets for him to continue playing.
A grateful Rickets accepted the offer, but eventually lost the tie 21-12, 21-16.
Rickets then partnered Joel Angus in the doubles and continued wearing Hendranwan’s shoes. They lost 21-7, 21-11.
Malaysia defeated Jamaica 5-0, but Hendrawan’s act of sportsmanship has certainly built goodwill between the teams.
A similar incident happened when Malaysia hosted the 1998 Commonwealth Games. A small contingent from an island nation arrived in Kuala Lumpur without proper shoes, but the late Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi made sure that their athletes received brand new shoes within hours.