Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement on Thursday after waging a battle with nose cancer, bringing an end to a glittering 19-year career.
Despite not winning the World or Olympic title, Lee Chong, a father of two, had claimed that he was keen to return to action after receiving treatment. On Thursday, however, a teary-eyed Chong revealed at a press conference that he was retiring from the ‘demanding sport’.
It’s time . An emotional @LeeChongWei formally announces his retirement after 19 year career as top Malaysian shuttler . Hailed as national hero by youth and sports minister @SyedSaddiq pic.twitter.com/LSRyvM1Ch9
— Melissa Goh (@MelGohCNA) 13 June 2019
“My decision to retire is a heavy one. I really love this sport. But it is a demanding sport. I thank all Malaysians for the past 19 years,” the 36-year old said.
The three-time Olympic silver medallist also said that he would now like to rest and spend time with his family, and even take his wife on a ‘honeymoon’, a trip that has been delayed since their marriage in 2012.
The former No. 1 was diagnosed with nose cancer in September and received treatment in Taiwan. In November, he had said that his nose cancer had gone into remission after intensive treatment and he still aims to chase his dream of winning an Olympic gold in badminton.
Lee, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Australia at the beginning of the year, has won 69 international titles and is a three-time Olympic silver medallist. He withdrew from the World Championships in China and Asian Games in Indonesia due to what BAM said at the time was a “respiratory-related disorder.”