SEPANG, Aug 7 — Badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei said today he will make another bid for the elusive Olympic gold at the next games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
Lee, 30, who returned home early this morning from the London Olympic Games, said he will focus on the upcoming Southeast Asia (SEA) Games and the Commonwealth Games.
“I am not thinking long term... wait for the SEA Games and Commonwealth; if there are no injuries, I will try for (the Olympics in) 2016,” he told reporters after landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport here.
His homecoming was celebrated by about 1,000 supporters who had been waiting at the airport arrival hall since 5am.
The former world No. 1 said he was heartened by the warm welcome despite winning only the silver in the men’s badminton singles event in London.
“I am proud to receive such a welcome... even if I am disappointed for not getting the gold medal.
“But (the Olympics) have passed,” he told reporters.
Lee also said he had received many lucrative offers from various groups if he triumphed at the games, adding that at that time he was only focused on winning Malaysia’s first gold.
“I realise there were people offering gifts... but my focus was more on the Olympic gold,” he said.
Lee declined to comment about those who had criticised him for losing to China’s Lin Dan in the final.
“I have already done my best,” he said.
Fans of the Penang-born shuttler handed out the Malaysian flag to bystanders and sang the national anthem “Negaraku” when Lee landed.
They waved the Jalur Gemilang and also carried banners that read “We Love LCW (Lee Chong Wei)”, “You Are Our Hero” and “Datuk Lee Chong Wei National Hero”, among others.
Lee lost to his archrival Lin Dan with a score of 21-15, 10-21 and 19-21 last Sunday, breaking the hearts of Malaysians.
With the defeat, Lee collected his second Olympic silver after losing to the same player in the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
Also at the airport to greet Lee was Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim.