Lee Chong Wei Urges Malaysian Players to Strengthen Mental Resilience

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Lee Chong Wei shares his experience and wisdom with Malaysian badminton players. (photo: Bernama)
Lee Chong Wei shares his experience and wisdom with Malaysian badminton players. (photo: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur: With only seven weeks remaining until the Paris Olympics, Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei emphasizes the importance of psychological preparation for the country’s badminton players. Given the limited time, he believes it is unrealistic for athletes to acquire new skills or tactics. Instead, they should focus on enhancing their mental resilience to be fully prepared for the challenges ahead.

Lee, a veteran of four Olympic Games with three silver medals in men’s singles, is also the team manager for the Malaysian badminton team for the Paris Olympics. He advises the athletes not to be discouraged by recent performances at the 2024 Indonesia Open and to maintain a sharp and positive mindset. According to Lee, the unique atmosphere of the Olympics demands not only physical but also substantial mental preparation.

In recent tournaments, including the Indonesia Open Super 1000 Tournament, Malaysian players have had mixed results. Among the five Malaysian players who qualified for the Olympics, including men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia, women’s singles player Goh Jin Wei, men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan, and mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie/Toh Ee Wei, only Lee Zii Jia and Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan reached the top eight, while the men’s doubles pair was eliminated in the second round, and the mixed doubles pair and women’s singles were eliminated in the first round.

Despite these setbacks, Lee Chong Wei encourages the athletes to remain focused and mentally strong, highlighting the distinct and prestigious nature of the Olympic Games. He draws from his own experiences, noting the unparalleled honor of competing at the Olympics and the importance of being mentally prepared to seize this extraordinary opportunity.

“With less than 50 days to go before the Olympics, athletes will not be learning new skills or tactics now. What’s important now is psychological preparation. Looking at their recent results, some have done well, and some have not, but does that matter? Even if they won the recent Indonesia Open, does that guarantee they will win gold at the Olympics?” said Lee.

“I hope they stay mentally sharp and don’t let too many emotions affect their mindset. The Olympics are a completely different event. As a former athlete, I can tell you that when you enter the Olympic Village and see the Olympic rings, the feeling is completely different,” added Lee.

“It is the highest honor, so you need to be prepared not only physically but also mentally,” explained Lee.

At 42, Lee Chong Wei also reflected on his time participating in the Olympics: “Three finals, three silver medals, I will always regret not winning that precious gold medal. But I am proud of reaching the finals in three consecutive Olympics; only I know how difficult it is to achieve that goal.”

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