Badminton: Lee Chong Wei calls Lin Dan 'the greatest of all time'

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei (left) calls China's Lin Dan "a legend". PHOTOS: LEE CHONG WEI/FACEBOOK, ST FILE

PUTRAJAYA (XINHUA) - Malaysian badminton legend Lee Chong Wei says he regards China's Lin Dan as the greatest badminton player ever in a recent Facebook live session, the Badminton World Federation said on Thursday (April 16).

"You have to say it's Lin Dan," the former world No. 1 replied to who was the greatest shuttler of all time by Malaysia's former Deputy Sports Minister Steven Sim.

"He's a legend. His titles speak for themselves. We have to salute him," Lee explained.

The rivalry Lee and Lin shared was believed by many as the greatest in men's singles history.

Lin possesses a better head-to-head record with 28 wins from 40 duels, including victories in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals and two in world championship title matches (2011 and 2013).

Lee admitted his "obsession" of wanting to be better than the two-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion kept him on his toes.

"Lin Dan was constantly in my head when I got back to training after every loss. I knew if I wanted to win important tournaments, I had to beat him. I couldn't relax," the 37-year-old said.

"Even when I was cramping up, I told my coach I wanted to continue training because Lin Dan was waiting for me. I was thinking about him all the time."

Lee, who announced his retirement last June due to health reasons, also confirmed that he had made a full recovery and is in good health now.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.