KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 — Former world number one Lee Chong Wei has retired from professional badminton after his doctor told him that his cancer may recur if he continued training.
The 36-year-old three-time Olympic silver medallist said he decided to hang up his racquet for the sake of his wife and two young sons after playing for 19 years.
“So yes, I have made my decision to quit. I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it to Tokyo this time around. And I’m sorry I didn’t deliver an Olympic gold. But I know I’ve no regrets as I’ve tried my best. My very best,” Lee posted on Facebook.
“I hope my name Lee Chong Wei has inspired you all one way or another, same like the way you guys inspired me. Without my family, my teammates, my coaches, and my supporters, I won’t achieve anything,” added the badminton star.
Lee said he continued training when he was cleared of cancer after undergoing treatment for early-stage nose cancer that was diagnosed last July.
“After few days of light training, I wanted to get clearance from my doctor to heighten my training intensity, then I was dealt a major blow. From that scan, doctor shook his head and said I might face the risk of recurrence if I continue to train.”
The Malaysian Insight quoted Lee as saying at a press conference that during a consultation with doctors in Japan last month, the outcome from eight questionnaires about his condition showed he was not fit to do high-intensity activities.
Lee, who bagged the silver medal in the Olympics in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016, announced last November that he wanted one last bid to win a gold medal at the Games in Tokyo next year.