Kuala Lumpur: The 2004 Summer Olympics gold medalist Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia told reporters at the Legends’ Vision event in Kuala Lumpur that Lee Chong Wei needs to improve his mental toughness in order to win a gold medal in the Rio Olympics.
Hidayat said that Lee is still very active and very competitive, and he is going to be a very strong contender for the gold medal in Rio. However, Hidayat also admitted Lee is under immense pressure as he carries Malaysia’s hopes of a first ever gold medal in the Olympics.
“Badminton is the number one sport in Indonesia and Malaysia. Just like me in 2004, the whole Indonesia was expecting me to win the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. Therefore, he needs great mental toughness in order to have a successful performance in Rio,” said Hidayat.
The three times Asian Games gold medal winner (1998, 2002 and 2006) also acknowledged that both Indonesia and Malaysia are facing a similar problem to find world class men’s singles player.
“In Indonesia, we are fortunate enough to have top men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles, but we still have a long way to go to find another top men’s singles player,” added Hidayat.
“We need a bigger boost for the young talents in South East Asia, otherwise we could risk without a single representative from the region in the Olympics. At least now we have Datuk Lee Chong Wei,” said Hidayat.