After being diagnosed with nose cancer July last year, Malaysia’s badminton hero Lee Chong Wei has just announced his retirement today (Jun 13).
His retirement has been highly speculated recently as he was nowhere to be found in his training centre for the past six weeks, The Star reported.
Speaking tearfully at the Menara KBS along with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Chong Wei said, “Today everyone knows more or less my intention for calling this press conference. I would like to announce that I’m retiring from the sport after 19 years.
“It was a tough decision to make but I was left with no option after my recent consultation with doctors in Japan last month.
“I was given eight questionnaires to answer about my conditions and the outcome came out to show that I’m not fit to do high-intensity activities. So it’s not suitable for me to exert myself for the sake of my health.
“I want to thank you Malaysians.
“I want to thank a lot of people KBS, ISN. I want to thank all my coaches Datuk Misbun Sidek, Datuk Tey Seu Bock,” said the three-time Olympics silver medalist.
After his treatment in Taiwan last year, he told the world that he had no intention to hang his racket and would compete in Olympics one last time for Malaysians.
Moved by Chong Wei’s dedication, rival Lin Dan also announced he would not retire and intend to share a match of their lives in Japan Olympics 2020.
Lin Dan said that when he was in Malaysia for the Malaysian Open, an event where Chong Wei rooted Lin Dan to win if the latter was not competing against a Malaysian in the final.
“Perhaps the two of us can go on and play in next year’s Olympics.
“Since Chong Wei hasn’t hung up his racquet, I might as well continue playing,” said Lin Dan after defeating Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen on April 3.
“Chong Wei dah cuba sedaya upaya,
Emas olimpik tidak terdaya,
Kepada semua Selamat Hari Raya,
Mohon maaf atas segalanya. ”
Menjelang hari yang mulia ini, Chong Wei bersama keluarga ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya kepada semua kawan kawan yang meraikannya. pic.twitter.com/aUxaBCy4MM
— Dato' Lee Chong Wei (@LeeChongWei) June 5, 2019
On Hari Raya (Jun 5), the badminton icon wished Malaysians Happy Hari Raya on Twitter and even asked for rakyat’s forgiveness as he had failed to snatch Malaysia’s first Olympics gold medal.
The Star wrote that Chong Wei’s retirement would not accord him any world title in the sports.
Chong Wei is now ranked No. 190 globally after failing to compete in international events for almost a year. He has a one-year ranking protection privilege which will expire on Aug 14. If he continued to not compete, he would not be able to earn crucial Olympic qualification points.
He initially wanted to compete in All-England in March and the Malaysian Open in April but his doctor warned him about the health hazard to undergo vigorous training again.
Chong Wei’s retirement could be his toughest decision as he was not even given a chance to fight one last time for the country. His retirement today marks the end of his 19-year badminton career.
You can watch Chong Wei’s retirement announcement press conference on the next page.