Cried, slumped on the sofa after hearing I had nose cancer: Lee Chong Wei

Lee Chong Wei is confident of representing Malaysia at Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020 (Reuters Photo)

alaysia’s badminton great Lee Chong Wei is recovering from nose cancer and is even keen on returning to the circuit soon but the 36-year-old carries painful memories of the ordeal he had been through in the last few months.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia confirmed in September that Chong Wei was diagnosed with an early-stage nose cancer and he was undergoing treatment in Taiwan.

When Chong Wei withdrew from 2018 World Championships in Nanjing, just before his first-round match against France’s Brice Leverdez, it was revealed he was suffering from a respiratory disorder. However, upon medical consultation, it was found out that the three-time Olympic silver medallist was facing a more serious health ailment.

Chong Wei revealed it was his wife who broke the news to him as he was gearing up for a training session in the lead up to the world meet.

“My wife received a call from the doctor at about 11.30am. I wasn’t aware of the call as I was resting after a tiring training session in the morning,” Chong Wei told Malaysian news daily, The Star.

“I’ve already picked up my bag and was ready to leave home. Then, I asked Mew Choo whether the doctor has called. She came towards me, hugged me and cried. I knew it was bad news. It’s nose cancer, she broke the news.

“My badminton bag slipped from my grasp and I started to cry too. I slumped on the sofa crying and asked why it had to be me. My mum found out and she hugged me and cried too.”

Chong Wei underwent treatment in Taiwan and returned to Malaysia on November 7. The former world number one revealed he was unable to speak after going through a series of intense proton therapy sessions.

“I went through 33 sessions of proton therapy treatment and it was a nightmare. By the third week, it has taken a toll on my throat. I could not speak or eat.