Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei said that his famed rivalry with China’s Lin Dan pushed him to greater heights and that he considered the latter as the greatest player of all time.
Wei and Lin Dan, who have dominated the badminton court for many years since 2006, have been considered as the greatest men’s shuttlers in their era. Their rivalry has also been talked about much since then, with the duo facing each other 40 times in their career. The Chinese star, however, holds a better head-to-head record of 28-12 against Wei.
When asked who he considered the greatest badminton player of all time during a Facebook live session, Wei chose his rival.
“You have to say it’s Lin Dan,” Wei, the three-time Olympic silver medallist said.
“He’s a legend. His titles speak for themselves. We have to salute him.”
Wei, who announced retirement from badminton in 2019 after undergoing treatment for nose cancer, lost two Olympic golds (2008 and 2012) and two World Championship title (2011 and 2013) to Dan in his career.
Wei further said his obsession with Dan kept him on his toes.
“Lin Dan was constantly in my head when I got back to training after every loss. I knew if I wanted to win important tournaments, I had to beat him. I couldn’t relax,” the 37-year-old said.
“Even when I was cramping up, I told my coach I wanted to continue training because Lin Dan was waiting for me. I was thinking about him all the time.”