Mar 06, 2014

    Gade to world No. 1: Take a break


    LONG-TIME badminton legend Peter Gade has offered a respectful warning to world No.1 Lee Chong Wei about what is needed to prolong his career.

    Lee, a 31-year-old Malaysian, hopes to regain the All-England Open title this week, but has talked of relinquishing an attempt at another Olympic medal at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and of retiring this year.

    That would disappoint millions of Malaysians and countless others everywhere, who hope that he might have another shot at winning his country's first gold in any Olympic sport.

    Gade has a view that might make this possible. Lee cannot compete as frequently as he has been, and must either take a break or stop, said the former world No. 1 from Denmark, who retired only after the London Olympics, at the age of 36.

    "To be on top form and produce good results week after week is extremely difficult, and you won't see many athletes doing that," he said.

    "Lin Dan is in a different situation - where he can make choices," he added, referring to the 30-year-old Chinese who overcame Lee in the last two Olympic finals and who competes only occasionally these days.

    "Chong Wei may feel he has to play them. He will see if he can hold up for every event. That makes a difference in big matches - it affects your physical edge, motivation and energy...

    "What Chong Wei is doing is extremely tough, on the mind and the body. At some point, he has to pull back and say, 'Either I stop or take a break'."