Former world number one and Malaysia’s top shuttler Lee Chong Wei, who is coming back after serving a doping ban, is keen on winning a medal at next year’s Rio Olympics as it would be his last Games.
“I thank my friends, coach, media who supported me (after the ban). I just want to focus on winning. It was tough. I learnt a lot of things. I hope to qualify and win a medal in the Olympics,” Wei, who played for Hyderabad Hunters in the inaugural edition of Premier Badminton League (PBL), told reporters at the Gopichand Academy here today.
The 33-year-old star shuttler was handed out an eight-month ban in April last year for a doping violation after traces of a banned substance were found in his system.
He said he trained hard and focused on remaining fit to make a comeback into the international circuit in the aftermath of the ban.
Wei, who won a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing Olympics, said the Rio Games would be his last appearance in the mega sporting event.
“I hope to qualify (for Olympics) and focused on that. I would like to be injury-free. This is my last Olympics and I will fight for it,” he said.
Wei said India is emerging in international badminton arena in a big way with shuttlers like Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth achieving major milestones with chief national coach Pullela Gopichand mentoring the young players.
The likes of Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth are capable of achieving many more big victories, he said.
Srikanth, a rising star in men’s singles, pulled off an admirable victory over Lee Chong Wei in the PBL in Mumbai this week.
Meanwhile, India’s star shuttler Parupalli Kashyap, who secured a magnificent win for Hyderabad Hunters over Sameer Verma of Bengaluru, expressed happiness with his performance.
“It was a trump match (against the Bengaluru player). If you lose, it would be minus 1 (-1). But , I won. I was happy for it,” he said.
Noting that the PBL would offer him good preparation ahead of the Olympics, he said he had an useful discussion with Lee Chong Wei, his team mate in Hyderabad Hunters.
The Hyderabad side, including star players like Wei, Kashyap, Markis Kido and Jwala Gutta, is a strong outfit with a good chance of winning, he said.