After an illustrious 19 years of hugely successful career, our beloved badminton legend Lee Chong Wei has announced his retirement to the media at an emotional press conference in Putrajaya on Thursday (13th June).
“It was a tough decision to make but I was left with no option after my recent consultation with doctors in Taiwan last month.”
We should all come to agree that this is the best decision that has to be made by him, keeping in mind his health condition of being diagnosed with nose cancer last July.
Nevertheless, Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei’s contribution to Malaysian sports will always be remembered. And on that note, let’s take a look at 3 of his memorable moments in his career that united us, Malaysians in the spirit of badminton.
Lee Chong Wei vs Lin Dan – Men’s singles semi-final at the Olympic Rio Games
When it comes to Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei at the Olympics, it takes on a greater meaning. Such a match-up goes beyond China or even Malaysia, who are desperate for their first gold medal. Having lost twice in the finals to the Chinese at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, the Malaysian came good in the men’s singles semi-final at the Rio Games. The world No. 1 won 15-21, 21-11, 22-20 in 79 minutes. Although it was just the semi final, the intensity of the game was such that the whole nation stood and took pride in his achievement.
Lee Chong Wei vs Srikanth Kidambi – Men’s singles final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
Just a few days after crowned World No 1, Srikanth Kidambi let slip the early advantage to settle for a silver medal in the 21st Commonwealth Games, going down to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles summit clash. Chong Wei pulled off an incredible performance to beat Srikanth of India 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 in an epic final. It was also Chong Wei’s fifth gold medal in three Commonwealth Games. He won a double – singles and team golds at the 2006 Melbourne and 2010 New Delhi series respectively.
Lee Chong Wei vs Chen Long – Men’s singles final at the 2016 Asian Badminton Championship
Lee Chong Wei defeated his rival and world No. 1 Chen Long of China in the final of the Asian Badminton Championship. Producing a superb performance to clinch the men’s singles title, Chong Wei defeated Chen Long 21-17, 15-21, 21-13 in the closely-fought final that lasted an hour and 22 minutes. The triumph in this was the world No. 2 third title of the season – having captured the Malaysian Masters in January and Malaysian Open three weeks ago. It was also Chong Wei’s 63rd career title overall.