Chong Wei would have been a world champion under me, says China’s Li Yongbo

The hunt for Malaysia’s maiden gold medal fell short at the Rio Olympics, despite coming close with three final appearances out of five events in badminton.

National ace, Lee Chong Wei was touted to be the chosen one in delivering at the holy grail of sporting events but he was denied again after losing to China’s Chen Long in the final.

The world No.1 has lost all of the Olympic finals against Chinese opponents, with his arch-nemesis Lin Dan claiming superiority at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

It might just be a case of bad luck but China head coach Li Yongbo has a pretty unique explanation.

Photo credit: New Straits Times
Photo credit: New Straits Times

“I will be proud if Chong Wei is on my team and if that’s the case, he may have already been a world champion,” he told after the Olympic final.

Chong Wei’s former coach, Misbun Sidek has also echoed Yongbo’s sentiments with regards to the training methods employed by China as compared to Malaysia.

The ex-national player said he had proposed reforms to the ‘outdated’ national badminton training system eight years ago, but they were rejected.

“I previously accepted Li’s invitation to visit their training centre and was impressed by its size and modernity,” he said, as quoted by China Press.

Photo credit: Twitter
Photo credit: Twitter

Besides that, Lin Dan alone has seven dedicated trainers who took care of his physical, psychological and dietary needs.

“Malaysia lags behind in this aspect as we don’t have enough bidget to hire more coached,” he added.

Maybe it’s time for BAM to make the necessary changes ahead of Tokyo 2020?

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