Badminton Life

Lee Knows There is No Second Chance

Malaysia's gold medal hope Lee Chong Wei has told local media that this could be his last chance to achieve glory at an Olympic Games.

Lee, the world number two and second-seed for the Beijing men's singles tournament next month, is 26 and knows that he may not be up to it when the next Olympics come round in London in 2012.

While in Athens four years ago he was still learning the ropes, he goes into the Beijing Olympics at the peak of his game and with some solid victories this season, including a confidence-boosting win over top seed Lin Dan at May's Thomas Cup in Jakarta.

"We shouldn't be thinking about getting a second chance when we are talking about the Olympics. This special event is held once every four years and that second opportunity may never come," Lee said in the New Straits Times.

He said regular tournament victories, while significant, cannot compare to a one-in 4 year opportunity available through the Olympics.

Indeed, when Lee won the Singapore Open last month, he told local media that it actually didn't mean much to him.

"The Super Series is different where we have 12 events in just one year and the probability of winning is very much brighter," he was quoted as saying. "A player is lying if he says there is no pressure. We are talking about winning an Olympic medal and the pressure will be greater in Beijing.

"Having said that, any player from the top eight of the world rankings is good enough to win a medal and I need to remain focused from the first round to be in the running."

The pressure on Lee is probably greater than on any other Malaysian athlete at the Olympic Games because he is probably the country's only genuine gold medal hope.

While other Malaysian players have struggled, Lee has been a model of consistency. Also, he passed a major test in Jakarta when he beat Lin in Malaysia's 3-2 Thomas Cup semi-final defeat.

That showed that he could get the better of Lin in a high-pressure match, which will be multiplied should the pair meet up in Beijing, where the Chinese player will have the backing of the home crowd.

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