Malaysian shuttler Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement from the game after a hugely successful career that boasted of 69 singles titles and three Olympic silver medals.
Chong Wei, 36, made his announcement in a press conference convened at the Youth and Sports Minister’s office in the presence of Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Badminton Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria.
The announcement arrived on the back of his doctor telling him to ease off in his athletic pursuits in order to avoid a relapse of the nose cancer that he was diagnosed with in September of 2018.
He has since made a recovery, but hasn’t been nearly as active in training. He last competed in July 2018.
“It’s hard for me to announce that I am retiring. I have discussed this with my family, but with a heavy heart I have to announce that I am retiring as health is more important,” said an emotional Chong Wei in the presser.
“My actual plan is [was] to retire next year after Olympics, but after having discussions with my family and doctors, I [have] made this decision.
“It’s not easy to wear the Malaysian jersey and I am very proud of my achievement. I hope Malaysia can win our first Olympic gold medal which is also my dream, next year.
“I want to thank every person who helped me along the way. Thank you to coach Misbun (Sidek) and all the coaches that helped to train me,” he concluded.
It was also announced in the press conference that Chong Wei will be the Chef De Mission for Malaysia’s 2020 Olympics contingent.