Millennium Post

Lee Chong Wei pulls out of Thomas Cup

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei's Olympic gold-medal quest was in doubt after he twisted his right ankle and pulled out of the Thomas Cup today.

Lee was leading Denmark's Peter Gade 2-1 in the first game when the injury occurred while he was retrieving the shuttle on the baseline. He was led off the court in a wheelchair and taken to hospital for scans.

Badminton Association of Malaysia general manager Kenny Goh said it was too early to say how bad the injury was.

'These things do happen in badminton and no one can predict how it will pan out,' Goh said. 'We are disappointed and we hope the injury will not be as bad as it looked.'

Malaysia head coach Rashid Sidek said Lee's injury was a big setback for the team and player.

'We don't know the time when he can return to court again,' Sidek said.

Gade, who's Denmark team went on to beat Malaysia 3-2, felt bad for Lee.

'From my view, he twisted his ankle, and I knew immediately that it was pretty serious,' Gade said.

'This is for sure not the way I wanted to win a match.'

'I am very sorry for Chong Wei and I know what's going through his mind now is the Olympics, it is not far away. So I just hope for a speedy recovery for him.'

The injury was Lee's second this year. He injured his shoulder during the All England Open in March but reached the final, where he retired in the second game. He has been cautious since, so as to be fully fit for the Olympics, where he will be Malaysia's best gold-medal hope.

Chinese star Lin Dan, who beat Lee in the 2008 Beijing Olympics final, hoped the injury wasn't serious.

'(Lee and I) are long-time competitors. However, our biggest enemy is not each other, but the injury,' Lin said.

'It is a pity that Lee Chong Wei injured himself today and the Olympics will be staged in less than three months.'

'I wish him a speedy recovery, because he is the icon of Malaysia. As his competitor, I wish him to come back to the court as quickly as possible.'
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