KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Badminton can be regarded as the country’s number one sport based on performance internationally said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Khairy said though football will remain the most popular sport in Malaysia, but when we compare the positive achievement of badminton in senior or junior international competitions, we must admit that badminton is in the forefront.
“Football is not only very popular in Malaysia but in many other countries due to its global appeal. However, based on performance badminton is the number one sport here.
“There are also upcoming players who can replace Datuk Lee Chong Wei. Even if not in the men’s category, players like Goh Jin Wei can emerge as the number one junior player in the world. And that can lift the pressure off Chong Wei’s shoulder,” he told reporters at the ‘Yonex The Legend’s Vision’ programme here today.
Khairy hoped Chong Wei will continue to represent the country at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil next August.
He also urged other athletes in the country to emulate the high level of discipline and commitment shown by Chong Wei.
Asked if Chong Wei would feature in the 2017 SEA Games hosted by Malaysia, Khairy said the decision would be entirely up to Chong Wei.
“He told me that though he has won numerous titles, he has yet to win a men’s singles SEA Games gold medal. That may inspire him to play in 2017. If he requests to play we will allow him to play,” he said. — Bernama