The Badminton Association of Malaysia on Tuesday confirmed that world No 2 Lee Chong Wei will not participate in the world championships and the Asian Games over the next month because of poor health.
The 35-year-old shuttler has been diagnosed with a respiratory disorder and has been advised by his doctor to take rest after a busy first half of the season, in which he has played nine tournaments so far. Chong Wei won the men’s singles title at the Commonwealth Games and the Malaysian Open in 2018. His last tournament was the Indonesia Open earlier this month, in which he lost in the semi-finals.
The world championships are scheduled to take place from July 30 to August 5 in Nanjing, China, while the Asian Games’ badminton events start in Jakarta, Indonesia, from August 19 and go on till August 28.
“For the time being, he cannot undergo any intensive physical activity for a period of at least one month and therefore, we have to withdraw him from the BWF World Championships and also the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia,” the BAM statement said, according to Malay Mail.
“During this period of recovery, we ask the public and the media to respect the privacy of Datuk Lee and his family,” the statement added.
The confirmation of Chong Wei’s withdrawal comes hours after several reports in the Malaysian media said that the 35-year-old was considering pulling out of the two prestigious tournaments.
Chong Wei, considered one of the greatest shuttlers of all time, has never won gold at either the world championships or the Asian Games. His best finish at both events is runner-up – three times at the world championships and once at Asiad. He has also won three silvers at the Olympics, in 2008, 2012, and 2016.