“My aim was always to set a benchmark for others to meet. If we were to gauge our progress it is through surpassing our forefathers.”
Datuk Eddy Choong
“The Pocket Rocket”
Year Inducted: 1995
“Good things come in small packages” – an old maxim that was certainly apt for national shuttler Eddy Choong. Standing at 5’4”, he was a dwarf among a sea of giants. However this “Mighty Mouse” certainly did not let his lack of size get the better of him, but instead used it to his advantage. His lightning speed coupled with his famous jump-smashes on the court awed audiences and sent shivers down his opponents’ spines.
Eddy was part of the Asian wave that transformed the previously European-dominated sport of badminton in the 1950s. Born into a well-placed Chinese family and the heir to a successful business empire, Eddy’s parents were not thrilled when he wanted to take up sports instead of taking over the family business. However, Eddy’s love for badminton spurred him on.
Not content with just being good, the ambitious Penangite strived to be the best. When he was not training he was researching equipments and techniques that could improve the quality of his game. He went on to win 8 All England titles and 450 titles from around the world, including 75 international championships. His brothers, David and Freddie, were also remarkable badminton players. Three All England titles were won through the doubles partnership of Eddy and David. Soon Eddy Choong became a household name. He continued to win titles until he retired in the mid-1960s.
Even at the age of 53, when one’s sporting abilities are a thing of the past, he became the All England Veterans Doubles Champion. In recognition of his exemplary performance and outstanding achievements through the years, the International Badminton Federation (IBF) introduced the “Eddy Choong Player of the Year” award.
Datuk Eddy Choong has always lived and breathed sports. He believes that Malaysia is still capable of becoming a badminton powerhouse and reliving the glory of its heydays, as long as players constantly strive to excel and stay one step ahead of their opponents. Sound advice indeed, from one of the greatest badminton legends that Malaysia has ever produced.
1951 - Ireland Open and Scottish Open [Champion]
1951-53 - All England Doubles [Champion (partner: Datuk David Choong)]
1952 - Thomas Cup [Champion]
1953 - Ireland Open and Scottish Open [Champion]
1953 - Denmark Open
1953 - Dutch Open
1953-54 - All England Singles [Champion]
1954 - Dutch Open
1954 - German Open, Norwegian Open
1955 - Thomas Cup
1955 - Ken Davidson Trophy for Sportsmanship
1956-57 - All England Singles [Champion]
1958 - Thomas Cup (Team Captain)
1983 - Veteran All England Doubles [Champion]
1992 - IBF Distinguished Meritorious Award for Services to World of Badminton
1995 - IBF Herbert Scheele Trophy
* Total: 450 titles; 75 int’l championships in 14 countries
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