He will turn 35 on Saturday but former world number one shuttler Lee Chong Wei still remains Malaysia’s best player and the Olympic Games triple silver medallist says he is hoping that his long-time coach Misbun Sidek soon finds someone to replace him.
In his 18th year with the national team, Chong Wei is still going strong even though his dominance seemed to have faded. He has suffered defeats against the younger generation of players, including India’s H S Prannoy and France’s Brice Leverdez.
Chong Wei, who is eyeing at a hat-trick of titles at the Denmark Open, said the thought of retirement has crossed his mind many times but he has somehow managed to continue.
“After losing in Olympic Games, I went back and thought to stop playing but then somebody encourage me, tell me that I can still play and I have continued,” Chong Wei told PTI.
“I think my life has become a roller-coaster, where I am going down and up, and down and up. Still that I can play in the national team is not easy for me.
“Now I am still in the top 10 but the second singles player is somewhere around 40 something, so I hope our coach Misbun can get someone to replace me.”
Chong Wei said he does not know how long he can keep playing.
“I don’t know how long I can play. I just look at match to match, year to year and hope to enjoy my life and my badminton career before retiring,” he said.
Talking to reporters about his opening round triumph against Spain’s Pablo Abian, he said: “It was little bit easy, I took time to get used to the court and once I got going I was able to win.
“I don’t want to think about the results. It is just one match at a time. Next I am playing Prannoy, I have lost to him before, so I know it is not going to be easy.”