The dust and the shuttlecocks have hardly settled on London 2012 but badminton’s great rivals could meet once again at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia narrowly missed out on the Olympic title and was eventually defeated by close rival Lin Dan of China by just two points. It was a repeat of the result in the final of the 2008 games and while it once again broke Malaysia's heart to see its favorite son get so close.
Lee, who suffered from injuries in the build-up to the London games and at the age of 29, is approaching the time when a badminton player starts to be called a “veteran.”
He has said however that he will play for at least two more years and then he will make a decision as to whether he will compete in 2016. “If there are no injuries, I will try for 2016,” he told reporters.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
If so, he may or may not be pleased to know that his decision could mean that his nemesis will also go to South America.
"If my foes are able to make it to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, I will also go for it," Lin told the China Daily.
“I never said I would retire. All I said is I want to take a rest for a while. I hope to set a new target during my rest, and adjust my physical condition."
Despite a close rivalry, it is a healthy one and the two have been friends off the court for years. The respect is mutual and real. Lin has invited Lee to his wedding in September and Lee has accepted.
Lee, a huge star in his homeland has told his compatriots that if they want gold then there is much work to be done.
"The BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) have to get some things right. The academy needs to have the best coaches, and (junior shuttlers) need to be taught to focus on the tactical side of the game. From what I have seen, we are lacking in these areas," Lee was quoted as saying by The Star daily.
"The glaring problem in the men's singles is finding someone to take over from me," Lee said.
"As much as I am quite satisfied with the work being done by the coaches in the men's singles department, it is obvious that changes are needed in the men's doubles, women's singles and doubles departments as well," he added.
Lee may be pleased upon learning that the BAM are considering naming a training center after him.
“It is an option but BAM will have to look into many other factors,” BAM deputy president Datuk Al-Amin Majid said, The Star reported. “The center is not up yet and we need to look into that first.”