Misbun Sidek: It’s time to focus on young players for Tokyo 2020

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Misbun Sidek (L) has a close relationship with Lee Chong Wei both on and off the court. (photo: Bernama)
Misbun Sidek (L) has a close relationship with Lee Chong Wei both on and off the court. (photo: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur: As Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei still recovering from his early stage nose cancer treatment, men’s singles coach of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Misbun Sidek has decided to exclude Lee from the prospect list for 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead, he would pay more attention to younger players such as Lee Zii Jia, Soong Joo Ven and Cheam June Wei.

Even though badminton fans around the world still hoping Lee could return and start competing to qualify for his fifth Olympics in Tokyo, Sidek said he wouldn’t put any pressure on Lee, it all depends on his body condition and the advice from his doctors.

“We should give Chong Wei more room to rest. Chong Wei has done a lot for the country, we should let Chong Wei decides whatever he thinks is right for him,” said Sidek.

“The Olympic qualifying has started, we should pay more attention to young players,” added Sidek.

However, Sidek also stressed that should Lee ever decide to come back and play competitively, he will definitely help Lee to resurrect his career. On the other hand, if Lee would like to retire from the sport, then everyone should respect his decision.

When asked if Lee has hinted he might just retire from badminton, Sidek said no. Lee only told everyone that he needed more time to rest, so it is unclear what Lee’s next plan would be.

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