Arena Badminton Dunia Terkesan Persaraan Chong Wei

KUALA LUMPUR – “Pergi ke gelanggang bersendirian. Tiada siapa yang mengiringi saya lagi,” demikian kata legenda badminton China, Lin Dan dalam hantaran laman media sosial Weibo susulan pengumuman persaraan seteru tradisi dalam gelanggang dan sahabat lamanya, Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

Juara dunia lima kali itu turut berkongsi sebuah lagu berjudul, ‘My friend, don’t cry’ dalam hantaran di laman sosial terbesar China itu.

Selain Lin Dan, bekas pemain Denmark, Peter Gade, yang juga bekas pemain nombor satu dunia pada 2006, turut mengucapkan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Chong Wei atas kenangan manis yang dikongsi bersama selama beberapa tahun.

“Dunia badminton merindui anda dalam apa cara jua. Terima kasih atas semua detik yang kita berkongsi bersama selama beberapa tahun. Saya mengucapkan selamat maju jaya kepada anda bersama keluarga dan kawan-kawan pada tahun-tahun akan datang,” katanya dalam laman Facebook rasminya.

Rakan senegara Gade, Victor Axelsen, pemain nombor enam dunia, turut mengucapkan selamat maju jaya kepada Chong Wei.

Sejak pengumuman persaraan Chong Wei petang tadi, nama pemain berusia 36 tahun itu menjadi sohor terkini dalam Twitter dengan hampir 10,000 ciapan setakat 7 malam ini.

“Legenda badminton telah membantu menyatukan seluruh rakyat Malaysia dan merentasi perkauman melalui sukan,” ciap akaun Twitter @Thashaj.

Seorang lagi pengguna Twitter @marxhyyy berkata: “Anda adalah kegemaran semua. Terima kasih, Datuk LCW. Selamat Bersara.”

Rakyat Malaysia turut membanjiri akaun rasmi Instagram Chong Wei dengan komen positif serta netizen melahirkan rasa sedih dengan pengumuman Chong Wei mengantung raketnya selepas 19 tahun mencurah bakti untuk negara di persada antarabangsa.

Chong Wei, 36, mengumumkan persaraannya pada sidang media khas di Menara Kementerian Belia dan Sukan di Putrajaya dengan dihadiri menterinya, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman dan Presiden Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

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To all my family friends and fans. To everyone of you who have been a part of my life, thank you. A real big sincere thank you. Months ago, all of you knew I had cancer. I fought it. And I thought I fought it well. I thought I could try one more time. I am just someone who love to play badminton. Someone who love my country. I feared of retiring with regrets. I was scared of not delivering that elusive Olympic gold for Malaysia. So when I was cleared of cancer, I took up my racquet and trained once again. After few days of light training, I wanted to get clearanyce from my doctor to heighten my training intensity, then i was dealt a major blow. From that scan, doctor shook his head and said i might face the risk of recurrence if I continue to train. Mew Choo crumbled crying. She feared i might be stubborn and continue to pursue my dream. I was at loss. I thought “How am I supposed to hang up my racket after nearly twenty years of competitive badminton?, “ How about my Olympic dreams?” At home, i kept myself occupied with my two sons, Kingston and Terrence. I bathed them, I fed them, I taught them badminton. I spent time with them. Most importantly, I really watched them grew up. Then it struck me to finally make up my mind. I shouldn’t be so selfish. I have played for myself, I have played for my country. This time, I want to play the role of a father, for long long time. I want to see them grow up to be proper men, to get married, to have kids. I want to take care of my wife when she is old too. So Yes, I have made my decision to quit. I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it to Tokyo this time around. And I’m sorry I didn’t deliver an Olympic gold. But I know I’ve no regrets as I’ve tried my best. My very best. I hope my name Lee Chong Wei has inspired you all one way or another, same like the way you guys inspired me. Without my family, my teammates, my coaches, and my supporters, I won’t achieve anything. I had no regrets. When i started playing badminton, all I wanted to do is to represent Malaysia. And I believed I did it with pride and honour. Well. I’m done. Thank you very much to all of you. Lee Chong Wei signing out.

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