Badminton

Published: Sunday January 19, 2014 MYT 9:48:00 PM
Updated: Sunday January 19, 2014 MYT 10:28:27 PM

Emotional Lee hints of retiring at year-end

A beaming Lee Chong Wei carries his son, Kingston, after winning the Malaysian Open badminton championship title for the 10th time on Sunday at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil. - BERNAMA

A beaming Lee Chong Wei carries his son, Kingston, after winning the Malaysian Open badminton championship title for the 10th time on Sunday at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil. - BERNAMA

BUKIT JALIL: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei sank to his knees with his head bowed down.

When he got up, tears were rolling down his cheeks. His fanatical fans stood up and gave him a deserving standing ovation.

It was an emotional moment for the 31-year-old Lee Chong Wei when he amazingly landed his 10th, and maybe final, Malaysian Open title at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

He had to stave off an early assault from a ferocious Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia before subduing him for a 21-19, 21-9 win in a 47-minute men’s singles clash.

Immediately after the triumph, he revealed that he may retire at the end of the year.

“I have never experienced this kind of pressure before. The first game was tough and Tommy really pushed me hard,” said an emotional Chong Wei.

“The pressure started to build up from the start of this week.

I was tensed because I wanted to win my 10th and last Malaysian Open badly.

“After the win, I could not help but feel emotional. All the burden is off my shoulders now ... I feel lighter.”

Chong Wei added that he would review his future after the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September.

“For now, I am pushing myself for these few major tournaments – the Thomas Cup Finals, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games. I may stop my career after the Asiad if my results are not good.

“I don’t know whether I can last until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I just cannot imagine how I would fare in three years’ time.

“For now, I just don’t know whether I can go on after the Asian Games. There is also personal problems and pressure.”

When asked what were the problems and whether there were outside pressure and interference, he said: “I have been playing for many years and I feel the need to spend more time with my family. This whole week my wife (Wong Mew Choo) and mother were asking why I was so tensed up.

“I want to spend more time with my baby boy ... my Kingston,” said Chong Wei, who carried his child in his arms as soon as he won his 10th title.

On his immediate plans, Chong Wei said he would take a short break for the Chinese New Year festival and then resume training for the All-England in March.

Chong Wei, a two-time Olympic Games silver medallist, was happy with one thing though. He was glad to see Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah winning the men’s doubles crown to complete a rare double.

Earlier, V Shem-Khim Wah defeated China’s Chai Biao-Hong Wei 21-19, 21-18 in the doubles final. Malaysia last won a double at home in 2010.

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