Chong Wei warns of Malaysia ‘downhill’ after BATC loss

Lee Chong Wei fears that Malaysia’s badminton teams are going “downhill” if changes are not made before the Paris Olympics.

The retired shuttler was disappointed after Malaysia was swept, 3-0, by China in the 2024 Badminton Asia Team Championship (BATC) final in Selangor. Chong Wei is calling for “drastic” improvements if Malaysia wants to claim a medal in the French capital.

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“I know the truth hurts, but I think Malaysian badminton will only go downhill from here if nothing is done,” Chong Wei told The Star newspaper. “Right now, I feel like giving up on Malaysian badminton.”

“(But) we can’t be just saying all is good when obviously, some things are not right,” he added.

Chong Wei acknowledged that speaking the truth about the state of badminton in Malaysia would make him “the bad guy.” But the 41-year-old BWF Badminton Hall of Famer urged sports officials to expose younger shuttlers to international competitions.

“Look at all the other countries, they keep sending younger players for tournaments,” Chong Wei noted. “Even if they lose to higher-ranked players, they keep sending them out, that’s how you build their confidence.”