Lee back in training, eyes last shot at Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian badminton star Lee Chong Wei resumed training yesterday, officials said, months after the sport's great had to stop playing to fight nose cancer.

The former world No. 1 was seen to be in "high spirits" with plans to get back to court next week, Badminton Association of Malaysia secretary-general Ng Chin Chai told Agence France-Presse.

"He was in the gym doing some cycling with the gym instructor," he said. "He plans to start on-court training next week."

Lee stopped playing after discovering he had cancer in July, forcing him to pull out of the Asian Games and the world championships.

Diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer, he told The Star newspaper last month he had to go through 33 sessions of proton therapy treatment in Taiwan, calling it "a nightmare".

Despite his ordeal, the three-time Olympic silver medallist said he was not giving up on his dream of playing at the Tokyo 2020 Games - his fifth entry if he were to qualify.

The 36-year-old player has tried unsuccessfully to win Malaysia's first-ever Olympic gold medal at three consecutive Games. His last shot at the Olympic title at the Rio 2016 Games ended in tears when he lost to China's Chen Long.

Nose cancer is perhaps the biggest blow suffered by Lee, who was banned after testing positive for a proscribed anti-inflammatory at the 2014 world championships.

Lee returned to the sport in 2015, after authorities accepted he took the drug inadvertently.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'Lee back in training, eyes last shot at Olympics'. Print Edition | Subscribe