Chong Wei to apply personal touch to motivate youngsters

  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 14 Dec 2019

It’s no burden: Lee Chong Wei is ready to shoulder the task of inspiring the youths to become future champions in badminton. He will be the guest star in an exhibition match in Genting Highlands on Dec 28.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former national singles player Lee Chong Wei wants to end the year by investing more time with young badminton talents.

And the former world No. 1 will get the chance to do so when he comes out from his retirement, albeit a short one, for an exhibition match during the Grand Match at the Arena of Stars in Genting Highlands on Dec 28.

He wants to let his actions do the talking on the badminton court. And he plans to share his story with the youngsters to inspire them.

Chong Wei, who has held the No. 1 spot in the world ranking for 199 consecutive weeks before his retirement in June this year due to nose cancer, said he had been restless at home.

He had watched the youngsters – Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles), S. Kisona (women’s singles) and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) do well to win three gold medals at the Philippines SEA Games – and he wants to motivate more youngsters to emulate their winning feats.

“I want many to follow my footsteps too – they can if they put their heart and soul into training,” said Chong Wei.

“I want to share what I’ve gone through as a player. I want to tell them my experiences so they will be inspired. I want it to be a special moment with my fans during the exhibition match.

“I encourage all youngsters to work and fight hard and be passionate in what they do – the results will eventually come.

“Just look at what our players did at the Philippines SEA Games. I hope every youngster out there will not give up on their dreams.

“I’m looking forward to the Grand Match – but more so to spending quality time with youths to motivate them.”

Chong Wei will be one of the players during the exhibition match together with the 2018 Asian Games singles gold medallist Jonatan Christie of Indonesia; the 2016 Rio Olympic Games mixed doubles silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, the 2016 Malaysian Masters finalist Iskandar Zulkarnain and former doubles star Woon Khe Wei.

Depending on Chong Wei’s condition, if he is fit enough, he will step on the court to play the men’s singles event, otherwise he would play in the doubles.

The Grand Match organiser Ho Khek Mong said there had been overwhelming response since the launch of the exhibition match, which will culminate with a joint charity event in the evening.

“Chong Wei is ready to part way with his favourite Yonex jersey which he wore during his semi-final victory over rival Lin Dan of China in the 2016 Rio Olympics. One of his racquets will be auctioned too,” said Khek Mong.

“Several other stars will also be giving away their personal belongings. All proceeds will go to the Lee Chong Wei Foundation,” he said.

Tickets for the Grand Match are priced from RM168, RM218, RM288, RM388, RM688 (VIP) and RM888 (meet and greet).

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