BWF Hall of Fame: Lee Chong Wei puzzled by Taufik’s reaction

03 Jun 2023 12:27pm
Taufik Hidayat and Datuk Lee Chong Wei. FILE PIX
Taufik Hidayat and Datuk Lee Chong Wei. FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Former nation's number one badminton player Datuk Lee Chong Wei is puzzled by the Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat’s negative remarks after the former being granted entry to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Hall of Fame.

Earlier, a video clip of a talk show in Indonesia went viral when Taufik, who is also an Indonesian badminton player, seemed to question Lee’s selection to be on the list.

41-year-old Lee and two-time Olympic winner Lin Dan from China were granted entry last month at a ceremony here.

English daily New Straits Times reported the three-time Olympic silver medalist remarked that the BWF chose him as an inductee.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Taufik should seek clarification from the BWF”, Lee had said.

Lee further added that he did not put any pressure on the BWF to include his name in the Hall of Fame; in fact, he was unaware of it until BWF informed him through a letter.

“I don’t know whether Taufik is unhappy or angry after he was not picked. He has not spoken to me about it. I don’t understand why he is attacking me,” he said.

The Hall of Fame ceremony took place on May 26 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

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The Indonesian badminton player further added that Lin Dan deserved the award, however, Chong Wei was inducted since the BWF office was in Kuala Lumpur.

“Not really (better). I already said that being listed in the Hall of Fame is just writing. It’s not something I need to care about. In fact, Lin Dan deserves to be listed,” Taufik remarked.

“He was chosen because he won three (Olympic) silver medals, the longest time in the number one (player) position.

“Who will you pick? A shuttler who has won ten silver medals or the one who won gold once?,” Taufik was quoted in the interview.

Taufik’s reaction was criticised by Malaysian fans.

Taufik, who won the Olympic gold medal in 2004 in Athens and the World Championships in 2005, responded on Twitter, questioning if Lee had won the Sea Games, the World Championships, or the Olympics.

For the record, Lee earned Olympic silver medals in 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, and 2016.

He finished second in three World Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

The Penang-born player, also Malaysia’s most successful badminton player, is known as the “King of the Badminton Super Series,” having won 69 overall titles during his senior career.

He also holds the record for being rated first for 349 successive weeks.

He retired from being a badminton player in 2019 after suffering from nose cancer.