Kuala Lumpur: After Lee Chong Wei tore the medial collateral ligament (MCL) on his left knee during a training session last Saturday, Lee had fired off a vicious response to technical director of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) – Morten Frost for being more concerned about his retirement schedule than trying to provide him with more support and appropriate care for his injury.
Lee also blasted BAM for ignoring his complaint that the new badminton mats were slippery and dangerous to players. The World No. 1 men’s singles player even threatened to quit BAM after the unfortunate incident.
“Even if I quit the national team, I am not going to give up and will still pursue my dream of winning the world championship!” said Lee.
The completely avoidable injury had inflamed the already tense relationship between Lee and Frost. Everybody could sense the uneasiness between the two when both were seen walking past each other at the newly-opened Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara without exchanging a single word.
When contacted by media, Frost declined to comment further.
“I have no comments. You should ask BAM general manager, Lawrence Chew about the court,” said Frost.
BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai has tried to put out the fire between Lee, Frost and BAM on Wednesday and has started doing “real work” to avoid further injury from other shuttlers.
“We are deeply saddened by Chong Wei’s injury. We will provide him with best possible treatment and will help him reach his best condition for the World Championships,” quoted by Ng Chin Chai in his statement.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has given his strong support to Lee Chong Wei and said it’s up to Lee to determine his own badminton destiny.
“Chong Wei is part of the Podium Programme under National Sports Institute (ISN). We will support him as long as he wants to play badminton,” said Jamaluddin.
The Podium Programme was launched in February, 2016 involving 97 athletes and 36 coaches from 21 sports. It was designed with the objective of winning Malaysia’s first-ever Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2020.