World beaters past and present pay tribute to a hero and role model

PETALING JAYA: Worldwide tributes are pouring in following Malaysian badminton icon Lee Chong Wei’s retirement.

Former Danish great Peter-Gade Christensen said the Malaysian legend will be sorely missed in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Tour.

“Dear Lee Chong Wei, the badminton world will miss you in every way!,” said Christensen.

“Thank you for all the moments we’ve shared through the years. I wish you all the best in the coming years with your family and friends!”

Current world No. 1 and reigning world champion Kento Momota of Japan, who idolises Chong Wei, was also quick to say a few words.

“The retirement of badminton great Lee Chong Wei is regrettable. He had a deep impact on me and I’ve gained a lot from competing with him. I’ll try my best to catch up with him every day,” said Momota.

World No. 8 and Indonesian prodigy Anthony Ginting also paid tribute, saying: “Happy retirement to one of my role models in badminton. Wishing you best of luck and good health in the future.”

Germany’s former world No. 10 Marc Zwiebler was grateful for the time they have shared together on and off the court.

“Thanks Lee Chong Wei for the countless matches and the fun we had on and off court,” said Zwiebler in his social media posting.

“Thanks for letting me train with you, for teaching me valuable lessons, for picking me up at 5.30 in the morning and for the good fun we had while you were showing me the best sides of Malaysia!”

“Congratulations on an amazing and unique career and all the best to you and your family! I’ll see you soon brother!”

Women’s Olympic and three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain also acknowledged the Malaysian as her hero.

“You are totally a hero, my friend! You have inspired many players and people around the world! Thanks for everything you have done for our sport. All the best in your new life,” said Marin.

Former women’s world No. 1 Saina Nehwal of India praised the Malaysian’s performance on the court.

“Really loved your performances for many years, Lee Chong Wei. You’re a great badminton legend and it’s very sad to know that you’re retiring,” said Saina.

“I wish you the best for the future and please take care of your health.”

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