Olympics: Malaysian Star Shuttler Lee Not Dreaming Of Gold

BEIJING: Badminton’s world number two Lee Chong Wei on Tuesday poured cold water on his chances of winning Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold medal, saying it wasn’t something he was counting on.

With the hopes of a nation resting on his shoulders, Lee said he was simply planning to take one game at a time once the tournament began on Saturday.

“I’ll try my best to win every match step by step. I haven’t wished for a lot as I don’t want to give myself too much pressure,” he told reporters.

Heading into the Beijing Olympics, Lee admitted he was starting to feel the pressure of taking on the Chinese juggernaut of shuttlers, and winning his country’s first Olympic gold in any sport.

Malaysia has only ever won three Olympic medals, one silver and two bronze – all of them in badminton. But despite being a badminton powerhouse, the Southeast Asian nation has never captured gold.

Lee has hit top form heading into the Games, winning the Malaysian and Singapore Opens this year and downing China’s star and world number one Lin Dan at the recent Thomas Cup.

But Lee, who was knocked out in the last 16 at Athens four years ago, played down his chances here of defeating Lin and China’s equally fearsome Bao Chunlai and All England champion Chen Jin.

“I think the Chinese athletes have more advantages because they are playing in China,” the second seed said. “But I like the venue – there is no wind and the lighting is comfortable.”

In his opening match on Monday, Lee faces Singapore’s Ronald Susilo who downed Lin in the first round at the Athens Games. – AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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