Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei announced his retirement on June 13 and ended his 19-year career.On the same day, Li Zongwei held a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, and announced his retirement.
Accompanied by Malaysian Minister of Youth and Sports Saeed Shadick and President of the Malaysian Badminton Association Norza, Li Zongwei held a press conference to announce the decision to retire. “Today, maybe everyone knows more about how much I want to hold a press conference,” he said. “I announced that I will retire from this 19-year campaign.”
Li Zongwei said that he went abroad to review his body in April this year. The doctor suggested that he rest more and that he was under too much pressure to resume training. After consulting with the Ministry of Youth Sports, the Badminton Association and other family members, he decided to retire.Li Zongwei said that this is a heavy decision. He loves the sport and hopes to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Otherwise, he will not resume training after receiving treatment, but for him now, health is more important.
Li Zongwei was wearing a sports uniform from the Malaysian national team. He said that looking back on his 19-year career, wearing the national team’s jerseys to play around the world is not an easy task, but he did his best.Li Zongwei thanked the media for his presence, thanked the youth sports department and other government agencies, badminton associations for their support, and thanked his coaches, trainers, and his family. At this time, Li Zongwei could no longer control his emotions, began to choke, and finally had to stop and wipe his tears.
He finally thanked his country and the people for their support. “Without Malaysia, there would be no Li Zongwei’s 19 years in the national team,” he said.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Saeed Shadik, said that he would nominate Li Zongwei as the head of the delegation of the Tokyo Olympics in Malaysia. Li Zongwei expressed his gratitude for this. He said that he did not get the first Olympic gold medal in Malaysia and hoped to see other Malaysian athletes in Tokyo to achieve this goal.
Li Zongwei will be 37 years old in October this year. In the final of the Malaysian Open last year, he defeated the Japanese player Tao Tian Xian Dou, who ranked first in the world men’s singles, and won the championship for the 12th time, but soon he was diagnosed with nasal cancer and received treatment. After the cancer recovered, he gradually resumed training at the end of last year, but the comeback time was repeatedly postponed. Before retiring, his world ranking has fallen to 190. The ranking protection given by the World Badminton will expire in August, which means that even if he returns, it will be difficult to get enough points to win the Olympics.