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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Fairytale Made In Heaven

Malaysian Open 2004. Two veteran players from rivaling countries China and Malaysia meet each other for the first time. Coincidentally, both of them won their maiden Malaysian Open title there. Choong Tan Fook partnered Lee Wan Wah and clinched the Men's Doubles crown while Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei achieved the Women's Doubles title. A secret relationship developed, as both did not want to be seen 'socializing with the enemy'. But as one would say: Love is blind. When Choong Tan Fook and Zhang Jiewen met four years ago, it started their intriguing and interesting yet heartwarming and reassuring story. This is indeed - a fairytale made in heaven, a case right out of storybooks.

Forced to communicate through internet instant messaging and long distance calls, many would dismiss their relationship and say that it couldn't last long. Not seeing each other for stretches of months can be hard on both players. Indeed, the relationship wasn't without its kinks. Zhang is rumored to have been 'bullied' by China head coach Li Yongbo and was forced to go partner-less allegedly because of her relationship. Once again, we can see that the power of love is so strong. With all these problems being caused by their relationship, they persevered and encouraged each other.

Choong Tan Fook and Zhang Jiewen are going to play in their last Olympics this year. As we bid goodbye to two extraordinary players, I wish to wish them the best of luck for their future, and hopefully they will find happiness in each other.

Zhang Jiewen and Choong Tan Fook. I wish you all the best.

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