UPDATED | National shuttler Lee Chong Wei (above) is hanging up his racket after 19 years in the sport.
"Today everyone knows more or less my intention for calling this press conference. I would like to announce that I'm retiring from the sport after 19 years," he was quoted as saying by The Star at a press conference today.
"It was a tough decision to make, but I was left with no option after my recent consultation with doctors in Japan last month.
"I was given eight questionnaires to answer about my conditions, and the outcome came out to show that I'm not fit to do high-intensity activities. So it's not suitable for me to exert myself, for the sake of my health," he added.
He thanked Malaysians, the Youth and Sports Ministry, and his coaches for their support.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) received the decision with mixed feelings.
BAM president Mohamad Norza Zakaria said BAM respected the decision made to retire by Chong Wei of his own volition and not for other reasons.
‘’I am with you today with very mixed emotions. As a badminton lover, I am very sad as I will no longer witness a legend whose style on the badminton court inspired many to watch and play the game.
“I am very sad as a president of BAM to accept the decision made by our legend today," he said.
Also present at the media conference were Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and his deputy, Steven Sim.
Mohamad Norza said the three-time silver medalist at the Olympic Games was a model for all.
“Despite all his successes and riches, he is still humble, respectful and above all still has the same hunger for success from the day he first started (his career).
“His hunger is not just for his own (success) but also for Malaysian badminton. On this note, I hope Lee Chong Wei will always be with us to chart the future and to find someone to step into his shoes,” he said.
- Additional report by Bernama