Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei joked they used to see each other more often than their wives after they were reunited at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Hall of Fame where both greats were officially inducted.
It was a special moment at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Friday evening, as two of the greatest men’s singles shuttlers were bestowed with the lifetime recognition for their contributions to the sport.
Lin dan Lee crossed paths on-court 40 times throughout their 20-year career, but they saw each more often while competing together.
“We met each other in many tournaments and saw each other more often than our wives,” joked Lin.
“There isn’t a precedent to our rivalry, we always battled at the top. I, for one, am blessed with my achievements. A good life should have its good and bad, ups and downs. My fondest career memory is winning my fifth World Championships."
Meanwhile, Lee thanked his wife Wong Mew Choo for being his pillar of strength throughout, especially in the face of adversity.
“She always supported me, win or lose. I’m standing on this stage because of her. I hope getting this Hall of Fame award will be an encouragement to Malaysians. My fondest career memory was winning my 12th Malaysia Open.
“I have not seen Lin Dan for three years now. He’s on a short trip this time, but we will have lunch and find time to discuss how to promote this sport around the world. We both want more people to play and like badminton.
Between them, Lin and Lee contested in five Olympics and 10 World Championships finals.
Lin was the standout when it came to winning major honours – he amassed five world titles and two Olympic golds.
As for Lee, it was about ruling the world rankings as number one for 349 weeks besides winning every time on home turf.
“It was my dream to be Malaysia’s longest world number one,” he said.