Badminton legend announces retirement after battle with cancer

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Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei wipes his tears during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Former World No. 1-ranked Lee has announced his retirement from badminton after 19 years following his battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

TAIPEI (The China Post) – Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who was diagnosed with nose cancer in September 2018, announced on June 13 that he will retire, meaning that he won’t participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Lee shocked his fans last year after announcing that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Still, he did not intend to retire as he believed he could make it back to the world stage after three months of treatment in Taiwan.

The accomplished athlete also wanted to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and finally, bring a gold medal to Malaysia, he said.

In order to qualify for the upcoming Olympics, however, Lee needed to return to international tournaments before Aug. 14 to retain his ranking. Due to his treatment and advice from medical staff, it did not seem like he could make it in time, which led him to announce his retirement.

Lee seemed to be relaxed and well at the press conference today but cried when he announced he was to retire.

He thanked his fans for their continued support and stated that he would rest and stay with his family.

Lee is known to be one of the four badminton kings but could never defeat Lin Dan (China) in the Olympics to claim the first gold medal for Malaysia.

However, he was able to bring to Malaysia three silver medals, an Asia Games silver medal, and 3 world championship victories.

As a good friend and rival on the court, Lin Dan posted on his personal website saying “From now on, nobody will be able to accompany me on the badminton court.”

Lin Dan recently stated that his motivation for not retiring himself was because he was motivated by his rival and friend Chong Wei. ●