Today, the nation was hit with devastating news when Datuk Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement from the badminton scene after 19 amazing years. The national badminton player announced his retirement in order to focus on his health and spend more time with his family.
Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that LCW has contributed a great deal to our nation by always giving his best on the court. Besides that, he also brought the nation together every time he played in a tournament.
So, in light of his retirement, we would like to walk down memory lane and highlight some of the amazing achievements he has attained during the prime of his career.
However, it will not be an easy feat to feature all of his attainments because the man has won 69 singles titles, including 11 Super Series Premier titles, 28 Super Series titles and four Super Series Finals titles.
Hence, we will only highlight several of his prominent victories that have put Malaysia on an international pedestal. Therefore, without further ado, here are FIVE amazing achievements that brought LCW fame, wealth and the love of the nation.
1. He was ranked No 1 worldwide for 6 years
With an amazing profile of victories, it’s no wonder that LCW was ranked first worldwide for six consecutive years, starting from 2008 to 2013. Amazing!
What makes this feat even more astonishing is that he is the FIRST Malaysian badminton player to have held the number one position for more than a year.
2. LCW has three silver medals from the Olympic Games
Even though the Perak-born athlete had to retire before he could get his hands on that gold medal, it still doesn’t mean that he didn’t give his best in the Olympics. In fact, LCW is a three-time silver medalist at the Olympic games and the sixth Malaysian to win an Olympic medal. Wow!
If you didn’t know, the national player won his first silver medal in the 2008 Olympics. That particular day was also historic for us because it was the first time ever that a Malaysian had reached the finals in the men’s Badminton singles.
Deservingly, this win earned him the Datuk title and then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak called LCW a national hero. Nonetheless, he didn’t let that victory get to his head as he saw it as motivation to bring back two more silver medals after tight matches in 2012 and 2016.
Following that, he was dubbed the most successful Olympian in the whole of Malaysia. No doubt!
3. LCW is the first non-Indonesian player to win the Indonesian Open
Amidst his many achievements, another one which he can be proud of is winning the Indonesian Open several times, in different years. On top of that, he was the only non-Indonesian player to have ever won the tournament. Atta boy!
Here is the list of years he has won the Indonesian Open and the opponent he was up against in the finals:
- 2007 – LCW was up against BAO Chunlai from China.
- 2009 – He was playing against Taufik Hidayat, Indonesia.
- 2010 – LCW was up against Taufik again.
- 2011 – He beat Peter Hoeg Gade from Denmark.
- 2013 – LCW won the match with Marc Zwiebler, Germany.
- 2016 – LCW was against Jan O Jorgensen from Denmark
To make that record even more impressive, he was also the first non-Indonesian shuttler to win a hattrick (from 2009-2011). Just astounding!
4. He was a TWO-time BWF World Superseries Finals Champion
After several failures in the World Championships, LCW – who is known for being very determined – rose above the failures and managed to win the champion title TWO times in the tournament.
The years in which he won the BWF World Superseries Finals are mentioned below:
He’s probably the best shuttler we ever had!
5. LCW was honoured with the National Sportsman Award in 2008
It was only right to present him with the National Sportsman Award in 2008 because it also the same year he brought back a silver medal from the Olympics.
Nevertheless, National Sportsman wasn’t the only award which was given to him, you can check out the list of awards and recognitions he has gained below:
- 2012 Olympian of the Year
- 2005 Penang Sportsman Award
- Penang Sportsman Award from 2007-2012. That’s six years back-to-back!
- BWF Player of the Year Award in 2009. He then won the award another three times!
- TYT Prime Award Trophy
- 2008 Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) Award
Another interesting recognition he got was the 2013 Most Popular Icon on Television Award, which was given by RTM, the national TV station. Wowza!
While LCW has encountered many victories, he has also seen many failures during tournaments and championships. But, he has never let those failures hold him back. Instead, he fought through the obstacles and claimed victory. We all should learn from his perseverance and hard work!
Even though he will no longer be playing for the national badminton team, we will always remember LCW as a hero who is resilient, brave and strong.
To Datuk Lee Chong Wei: Thank you for everything you’ve contributed to the nation through the world of badminton. It’s very sad to see you go but we understand that it’s for the best. Good luck with your future endeavours!
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