Badminton Life

Mixed Feelings for Returning Lee Chong Wei

Malaysia's silver medallist Lee Chong Wei expressed mixed emotions after returning home from his Olympic venture.

World number two Lee was in straights games to China's Lin Dan in the men's singles final of the Olympic badminton competition in Bejing.

Having beaten Lin earlier this year in the Thomas Cup, Lee was expected to put up a much stronger fight against the world number one.

However, he seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and ended up losing without much resistance.

Despite his loss, Lee had a resounding reception when he return to Kuala Lumpur with more than 300 supporters turning and. He even met with the Prime Minister.

"I was sad because I could not win gold medal for the country," he was quoted as saying in the local media. "Many would have been disappointed with the manner I lost. But from the welcome I received today, I felt as though I had won the gold medal.

"I am glad that the nation is still supportive of me despite my defeat. This means a lot to me. It will only spur me on to work even harder to achieve more good results for the country."

Lee said there were no excuses for his loss to Lin, who powered through all his Olympic matches without dropping a game.

He was happy to be able to reach the final and win silver - the best performance by a Malaysian singles player at the Olympics.

Lee also expressed concern about the next generation of Malaysian singles players.

"There were days that I could not sleep and there were days when I had no appetite to eat," he said. "The pressure was great. But I have no excuse for the defeat. Lin Dan was so fast, he had improved so much.

"The next two major tournaments are the World Championships (2009) and the Asian Games (2010). With the help of my coach (Misbun Sidek), I will be ready for these tournaments.

"But like China, I hope that there will be more than one Malaysian singles player vying for honours in these tournaments. It helps when one can support the other, just like the players from China."

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