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Thursday, June 13, 2019, 17:19
Malaysian badminton icon Lee Chong Wei quits due to cancer
By Associated Press
Thursday, June 13, 2019, 17:19 By Associated Press

Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei, center, cries during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, June 13, 2019. (VINCENT THIAN / AP PHOTO)

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia - Former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has announced his retirement from badminton after 19 years following a battle with cancer.

ALSO READ: Malaysia's badminton legend Lee Chong Wei delays return

The three-time Olympic silver medalist, hailed as a sporting hero in Malaysia, says it was a tough decision as he had planned to quit after the Tokyo Olympics next year but that he had no choice.

Lee, 36, said Thursday a recent consultation with doctors in Japan showed he wasn't fit for high-intensity training. He broke down momentarily during a news conference.

READ MORE: Lee Chong Wei resumes training after 6-month absence

Lee became one of Malaysia's richest athletes after an illustrious career that included the Olympic medals and 69 world titles that has made him a much-loved sporting icon. He was diagnosed with nose cancer last year but recovered after intensive treatment.

Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei, center, waves to media after a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, June 13, 2019. (VINCENT THIAN / AP PHOTO)

Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei, second from left, speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, June 13, 2019. (VINCENT THIAN / AP PHOTO)

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