CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENT: More than 500 people greet our Olympic medallist at KLIA
SEPANG: OLYMPIC hero Lee Chong Wei was welcomed by more than 500 fans at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here upon his return from London yesterday.
The fans, who gathered as early as 6am at the airport's arrival hall, were in high spirits despite having to wait until 8.30am before their idol appeared. While waiting for the two-time Olympic silver medallist, the fans, many waving the Jalur Gemilang, banners and placards, rousingly sang the Negaraku and Inilah Barisan Kita.
Chong Wei said he was grateful for the strong display of support.
"I am really surprised to see so many fans here. I wish to thank everyone for coming here to welcome me home," said the 30-year-old Penangite,
"I hope Malaysians will still be proud of the silver medal. I know it is a bit disappointing as I came very close to winning the gold medal.
"I am also disappointed, but that is all in the past now and I am looking forward to doing well at next year's world championships."
National singles coach Rashid Sidek said: "The response from the public is really unexpected. Even though Chong Wei won only the silver medal, the fans still came out to celebrate his achievement."
Despite losing to Lin Dan of China in the Olympics final on Sunday, Chong Wei's battling performance, which saw him come close to winning Malaysia's first-ever Olympic gold, has endeared him to the public.