Kuala Lumpur: Looking back at the huge surge in popularity of the sport of badminton in the last twenty years, Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan’s career-long competition for titles definitely helped propel badminton into a new era.
In a Facebook live session between the retired Malaysian legend, Lee Chong Wei and Malaysia’s former Deputy Sports Minister Steven Sim last weekend, Lee acknowledged that Lin Dan was no doubt the greatest shuttler of all time.
“Lin Dan is indeed a legend and must give a lot of respect to him. He has won many titles in his career, including two-time Olympic champion, world champion, Thomas Cup and many other championships,” said Lee.
Lee also said that Lin was not only his biggest opponent, but was also his biggest motivation who pushed him to get better.
“After I lost to him, he was the person who kept lingering in my mind when I came back to Malaysia. I told myself, I would meet him again, I should improve myself before I play against him next time,” added Lee.
“I did not dare to relax in training, because if I wanted to compete for the championship, I would need to get past Lin Dan.”
The Facebook live session lasted about 20 minutes, and attracted nearly 1,000 viewers.
Lee also mentioned briefly about current World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan who is still recovering from the fatal car crash on Jan. 13, the morning after he won the Malaysia Masters championship.
“The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games will be beneficial for Momota to compete for the gold medal, because everyone knows that he was injured in a car accident after winning the Malaysian Masters earlier this year. If the Olympics to be held as usual, Momota may not be at his best condition.”
As for the current World No. 10 men’s singles player, Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia, Lee said the 22-year-old Lee Zii Jia has improved a lot.
“Zii Jia’s game has improved and has become more mature. Now that the Olympics has been postponed, Zii Jia should take advantage of the additional time he needs before next year’s Olympics to build up more experience by participating in more tournaments,” explained Lee.