PETALING JAYA: Cheer up, guys!
That’s Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei’s message to all young shuttlers who have been struggling to find their footing in recent competitions.
While on his holiday trip in Europe, Chong Wei took his time to encourage the junior shuttlers.
Chong Wei, who celebrates his 37th birthday tomorrow, shared a photo of him and wife Wong Mew Choo posing in front of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, with an inspiring caption on his Instagram that read:
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
“I hope the young players won’t be too disheartened by not achieving much so soon. Work hard, fight hard. Results will come.”While Chong Wei did not state to whom the message was directed to, it was obvious that he’s trying to lift the gloom over the national junior camp, after the shuttlers returned home from the World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia, without a medal.
Malaysia also failed to finish among the top-eight sides in the mixed team event for the first time since its inception in 2000.
It was a second major failure for the national junior squad after they fired blanks at the Asian Junior Championships in Suzhou, China.
Chong Wei is a perfect example for others as he did not achieve success overnight - it took him years of hard work and perseverance to reach the top.
The only major honour he won at junior level was a bronze at the World Junior Championships in Guangzhou in 2000.
It was not until three years later that he made his breakthrough by reaching the Malaysian Open final in 2003, where he lost to Chen Hong of China.
Chong Wei has not looked back since then as he enjoyed a highly successful career which yielded 69 titles, three silvers each at the Olympics and World Championships, and spent a total of 348 weeks combined as the world No. 1.