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Badminton

Indian shuttlers pay tribute to Lee Chong Wei as he bids goodbye to badminton

Indian shuttlers pay tribute to Lee Chong Wei as he bids goodbye to badminton
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Published: 13 Jun 2019 11:35 AM GMT
After a 19-year saga of dominating international badminton circuit, the national hero of Malaysia, the legendary shuttler, Lee Chong Wei, hangs up his racquet. Lee had no intention to retire before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and wanted to continue his legendary sporting rivalry with China’s Lin Dan but, cancer proved to be a deciding factor in Lee’s early retirement, leaving the badminton world in shock. He was diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer last year, and after intensive treatment in Taiwan, he was keen on coming back but he couldn’t make himself available and eventually decided to take this big decision.
The 36-year-old started his illustrious career back in 2000, playing Asian Junior Championships in which he won a bronze medal in a team event. Following that in the World Junior Championships in 2000, he won a bronze medal in the singles event and then there was no stopping for him. He has won a whopping 69 singles title and had been a runner up in 34 title matches. He is also a silver medalist in 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. He is the runner up at 2011, 2013 and 2015 BWF World Championships. In his 19-year career, Lee Chong Wei has remained as world number one for 310 weeks overall and for a record 199 consecutive weeks from August 2008 to June 2012. There was hardly anyone who dominated the game as he did in his whole career. Lee has been an inspiration for kids around the world who has taken up this sport, and he is being hailed as a legend among his colleagues. He has been bestowed with various honours, off the court, for his achievement in the game. He was conferred with the title of “Datuk” for his success in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was also appointed as the UNICEF Malaysia's National Ambassador in February 2009. Even after achieving almost everything in the world of Badminton, Lee was aiming a Gold in 2020 Olympics which now is impossible, but the man himself hails his Silver Medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as his best and memorable sporting achievement.
June 13, 2019, will remain as one of the memorable days in Badminton History with the retirement of Lee Chong Wei. Tweets have been received from the players and his well-wishers. The Indian shuttlers who have played against him and who knew him personally have tweeted on his retirement. They all think the best of him. Lee Chong Wei has always played competitive matches with the Indian counterparts. Even in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Lee Chong Wei had a stellar run till the quarterfinals. He won all his games in straight sets before he met HS Prannoy in the semifinals. Prannoy was beaten in the first set before making a comeback in the second but falling short in the third by seven points. After getting past one challenge, Lee was about to face another in the CWG Men’s singles final. Lee lost his first set against Srikanth Kidambi in the final before making a massive comeback by winning the next two sets comprehensively to bag his 3rd singles Commonwealth Games gold. They both wish him best for his future.
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