OLYMPICS: Injured shuttler down but hasn't given up on London dream
LEE Chong Wei broke down in tears again yesterday as he weighed his chances of playing in the Olympics but at the same time vowed to battle against the injury to fulfil his quest to compete in London in July.
Chong Wei couldn't hold back his tears when BA of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh offered words of encouragement just before the injured player left Wuhan for Kuala Lumpur.
Chong Wei, upon arrival in KL, will seek a second opinion from the National Sports Institute (NSI) on his injury, which was diagnosed by doctors in Wuhan as a torn tendon in his right ankle. Tears continued to flow despite trying to compose himself and with his voice shaking, Chong Wei expressed his frustration at not being able to help Malaysia in the Thomas Cup. But his real concern was the Olympics.
"Feels very painful ... very sad I cannot help my team. I hope they can do their best," stuttered Chong Wei as his voice kept breaking yesterday.
"I have suffered the injury. I must be mentally stronger now to come back for the Olympics.
"I don't know how serious this injury is but I will keep on fighting."
Chong Wei's foot was completely bandaged and he had also taken painkillers as he prepared to board the plane.
The World No 1 also gave his account of Tuesday's incident which has put his Olympic dream in jeopardy.
"I didn't give up the fight (against Christensen) when I landed awkwardly. But it became very painful," said Chong Wei.
"I called for the doctor who saw the swell in my ankle and I noticed it when I got up. I tried to continue (playing) ... but couldn't."
Chong Wei was forced to concede a walkover and Malaysia subsequently lost 3-2 to Denmark in the Group C match.
Roesdi Ghani, the player's physical trainer, accompanied Chong Wei back to KL but his coach Tey Seu Bock stayed back to be with the rest of the squad. Seu Bock is keeping his fingers crossed that Chong Wei will be able to recover in time for the Olympics but he is concerned the player will have a phobia when he returns.
"As I see it, it may take three to four weeks if the injury is not serious. I hope he can recover fast and be able to compete in the Olympics," said Seu Bock.
"But this is his second injury in such a short period and any player will have a phobia when he returns to training and tournaments. This is why Chong Wei needs all the encouragement and support in this difficult period." Nadzmi remained optimistic that Chong Wei, as a top class athlete, would recover and make a comeback to compete in London.
"An Olympic gold medal is the highest for any and every athlete. For Chong Wei, he knows he has to finish at the highest level and this will push him," said Nadzmi.
"As I spoke about the Olympics, he started crying but that is understandable. He also expressed his determination to make a comeback and that is very important in this period."
NSI chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz, who was at KLIA when Chong Wei arrived, said the shuttler will undergo a more thorough scan over the next few days.
"We need to assess and determine what treatment is needed. At this point, I would agree with the doctors in China who said the injury will take about four weeks to heal.
"What is crucial is that Chong Wei doesn't require surgery," said Dr Ramlan.