Sports

Chong Wei eyes world title next

Badminton star tips No. 2 Iskandar to 
lead M'sia's charge at Tokyo Olympics

The disappointment was palpable, but so too was the determination to bounce back.

Badminton star Lee Chong Wei, who did not hide the disappointment of finishing with a third straight silver upon his return to Malaysia from the Rio Olympics, also vowed to battle for next year's World Championships title in Glasgow, Scotland.

Lee, who turns 34 in October, flashed a weak smile to the crowd who had gathered at the Bunga Raya Complex at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, before breaking into light banter with the media.

On a serious note, the world No. 1 
said that if he stayed fit, the world championships title was certainly his next target, reported The Star.

"I gave it my best shot in Rio and I'll be lying if I say I'm not disappointed to win the gold medal," said Lee, also a three-time world meet runner-up.

"It's definitely very disappointing to get a silver for the third time but right now, I'm not thinking too much about it... I just want to have some rest.

"But if I can still walk, jump and run, I'll definitely want to go for another shot at the world crown.

"I may not be around for the Tokyo 2020 but I really hope Malaysia can win a gold medal then."

NO LETTER

Lee also ended talk that his nemesis Lin Dan of China had sent him a "letter", after he had finally beaten the latter in an epic semi-final at the Rio Olympics.

The "letter", supposedly penned by Lin, expressing his admiration and respect for the Malaysian, had gone viral online, after Lee had lost to China's Chen Long in the final.

However, Lee confirmed that the letter was mere fan fiction, reported the New Straits Times.

"Send letters… do they think we are lovers?" Lee quipped, prompting laughter from the media. "No. I never got any (letter). That was a lie. I never wrote any (letter), and he (Lin Dan) never wrote any letter."

For the future, Lee tipped Malaysia's No. 2 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin to lead the men's singles charge in four years' time.

Said Lee: "Iskandar was my sparring partner in Rio. He helped me a lot there and I also hoped he learned a lot. Hopefully, his Rio experience would give him a feel of what it takes to qualify and compete in the Olympics."

Next on his list is the Japan Open from Sept 20-25, but for now, Lee, a father of two, is looking forward to some family time. - Wire Services.

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