Birmingham: Lee Chong Wei who tore the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) on his left knee after a fall on a slippery badminton mat at the newly built Academy Badminton Malaysia last month, amazingly passed a second scan on the knee and was allowed to play at his 13th and may be his last All England event on Wednesday.
Although not 100% fit and still feeling some pain, Lee is determined to make an against-the-odds bid for his fourth title at the world’s oldest tournament.
“I’m strengthening my mental toughness,” said Lee to Malaysian media last month.
Meanwhile, although Lee’s longtime nemesis – Lin Dan has won badminton’s oldest championship six times already, he is still showing no sign of losing his appetite for the sport of badminton. Lin is on track to ultimately beat Indonesian badminton legend Rudy Hartono’s record of eight All England titles.
“I still have passion for the sport,” Lin told the media.
Coincidentally, both Lee and Lin were inspired by Roger Federer’s victory at the Australian Open at age 35 on January 29, 2017.
“I saw Federer battled Nadal in the Australian Open final for more than three hours, I really admired both players, especially Federer’s ability to sustain his mental toughness and fighting spirit,” said Lee.
“Federer proved that the age was just a number, and if he can do it, so can I,” added Lee.
The 33-year-old Lin Dan was also motivated my Roger Federer’s Australian Open victory.
“Federer is really an incredible role model especially to older players,” said Lin.
Overall, badminton fans always enjoy seeing both Lee and Lin facing each other on the court. Let’s hope this will not be their final appearances at All England.