Badminton: Lee Chong Wei will not retire until after the 2016 Olympics

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns a shot from Chen Long of China during the Yonex-Sunrise men's singles final badminton match at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on April 6, 2014. Malaysia's world No. 1 badminton player Lee Chong Wei has rul
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia returns a shot from Chen Long of China during the Yonex-Sunrise men's singles final badminton match at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on April 6, 2014. Malaysia's world No. 1 badminton player Lee Chong Wei has ruled out retirement and decided to carry on for two more years until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Malaysia's world No. 1 badminton player Lee Chong Wei has ruled out retirement and decided to carry on for two more years until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 31-year-old had hinted at retirement earlier this year after winning his 10th Malaysia Open title in Kuala Lumpur, saying it would be his last national championships.

Lee said he arrived at the decision to play on after a chat with the country's sports minister in the wake of his third SuperSeries triumph of 2014 at the Indian Open.

"Our Sports Minister is very supportive of me and has asked me to persevere until the 2016 Olympic Games. I digested what he said and I gave him my word to keep on playing," Lee was quoted as saying by the Malaysian Star newspaper. "This year, I will focus on the majors (Thomas Cup, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games). I will try my best to maintain my form and hang on for another two years."

Lee won his second Olympic silver medal at the London Games in 2012 after another titanic battle with his nemesis, Lin Dan of China. On Sunday, he beat another Chinese, world No. 2 Chen Long, 21-13, 21-17 in the final at the Indian Open.

"I am taking the whole atmosphere differently now. I am enjoying myself more," Lee added. "In India, I read Chen Long's game easily and played quite well to counter his movements. It has given me confidence."