PUTRAJAYA June 13: Former world number one badminton player, Datuk Lee Chong Wei 36, who announced his retirement with tears today, has been chosen to be the Chef de Mission (CDM) for the Japan Olympic Games 2020.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said, the decision was made after a discussion with Badminton Asscociation of Malaysia (BAM) President Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria and Chong Wei – the badminton legend this morning.
“We chose him to be CDM as his service is still needed for the future of the national athletes. The high “fighting spirit” that Chong Wei processes is difficult to be challenged by others,” said Syed Saddiq in an interview with TV1 today.
Chong Wei thanked the Malaysians, BAM and his coaches for all the support and assistance he received throughout the19 years he had been with the national badminton team and brought glory to the country for his excellent performances in the sport.
However, BAM still wants Chong Wei to continue contributing to the development of the national badminton team.
“We will have Chong Wei in other capacity; to train and produce badminton players that are better than him. So far Chong Wei is the best badminton player BAM ever had,” said Norza.
Meanwhile in a press conference held at Ministry of Youth and Sports Tower here today, Chong Wei said, it was difficult for him to make the decision to retire as he has aspired to win the first gold medal for Malaysia at the Olympic Games 2020 in Japan.
“It was a tough decision to make but I have no option after my recent consultation with doctors in Japan last month.
“I was given a set of questionnaires to answer about my condition and the outcome came out to show that I am not fit to do high density activities. It is not suitable for me to exert myself for the sake of my health.
“I want to thank a lot of people from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Institute and to all my coaches Datuk Misbun Sidek and Datuk Tey Seu Bock,” said Chong Wei trying to hold back his tears.
Chong Wei was diagnosed with nose cancer in July last year. After receiving treatment in Taiwan, last November he announced that he had no intention to retire and would give his last glory at the Japan Olympic Games in 2020.
Chong Wei resumed his training in early January to compete in All England Championship in March and Malaysian Open in April but he has to stop his entire plan for health reasons.
Recently Chong Wei’s training was disrupted as he has not been seen on the badminton court for six weeks.
Asked about his plan after the retirement, Chong Wei said, he will have his honey moon and holidays with his wife and two children for the first time after they were married in 2012.
The three time silver medallist at Olympic Games in Beijing 2008; London 2012 and Rio de Jeneiro 2016, said his greatest challenge and bitter experience was when he lost in the first round in All England Championship.
“At that time Datuk Norza just arrived to watch the game and he called me to his room and said “Chong Wei no problem even if you lost this time.
“When I reached KLIA, all the media were waiting for me and I just answered them as it was normal to lose and win in a championship. I will try harder in other championship,” he said.
Chong Wei also mentioned the most difficult experience he had in his career was when he had to go for a hearing for eight months after he was tested positive for dexamethasone during a doping test at the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 30.2014.-Malaysia World News