Lee Chong Wei and Imre Polyák – two incredible “never giving up” stories

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Lee Chong Wei's stories are so inspirational that all badminton fans should cheer for him to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (photo: Lee Chong Wei's Twitter)
Lee Chong Wei's stories are so inspirational that all badminton fans should cheer for him to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (photo: Lee Chong Wei's Twitter)

Kuala Lumpur: Can you believe the 1964 Olympics was 56 years ago?

Tokyo was the host of the 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, and after winning three silver medals in the 1952, 1956, 1960 Olympics, Imre Polyák – a featherweight Greco-Roman wrestler from Hungary finally won his first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

With the Summer Olympics make its return to Tokyo in 2020, can Lee Chong Wei reproduce the same miracle Imre Polyák created in the same city after 56 years?

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) published an article on April 16 to provide some words of encouragement to Lee with quotes below:

“Badminton could have its own tear-jerker of a moment in Tokyo 2020 if Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei is to defy all odds and qualify for his fifth Olympics – a feat which in itself would be amazing.”

“In his prime, Lee was ranked world No.1 for 199 consecutive weeks from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012 and has the unenviable record of claiming three consecutive Olympic silver medals – 2008, 2012, 2016 – to make him one of the greatest badminton players of all time.”

The article also mentioned Lee who is currently ranked World No.77, is expected to drop outside the world’s top 100 by the end of the April after he is set to skip the Badminton Asia Championships and probably the first tournament of the Olympic qualifying period – the New Zealand Open that will kick off on April 29, 2019. If Lee could make a return at the Thailand Open in early August, his ranking is guaranteed to be protected for a maximum of six months until February next year.

But if he misses the 14 August 2019 cut-off date, his fifth Olympic dream is pretty much over.

Lee responded to the article on his own social media page by saying:” Grateful for this article published in the BWF website. Finger crossed, I hope to be back competing before August. To qualify is the priority now, never mind winning any medal of any…”

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