Lee Chong Wei in cancer remission and aiming for Tokyo 2020
Three-time badminton Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei is set to resume his career following cancer treatment.
The Malaysian was diagnosed with early-stage nose cancer in October and it was rumoured that he may retire.
But in a remarkable turnaround story, Lee revealed an emotional press conference in Kuala Lumpur that he is in remission.
"I burst into tears when told had cancer," he said. "I still love badminton, that's why I'm not ready to hang up my racket yet."
"But I will take my time before coming back to the court. I'm waiting for green light from the doctor."
While it will be a slow return to the court, Lee was clear that he has unfinished business at the Olympics.
"I still want to go to Tokyo. Qualifying for my fifth Olympics will not be an issue," he said.
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Lee's announcement comes after two months of chemotherapy and phototherapy treatment in Taiwan.
Doctors said at the early stages of treatment that he was responding well, but Wei has kept a low profile since then.
Badminton Association of Malaysia president (BAM) Seri Norza Zakaria said at the time that he was was "resting and recuperating among family and close friends."
On 21 October this picture was posted of Wei celebrating his 36th birthday with his family.
A fighter and a hero
Zakaria said that he would support Wei regardless of the decision he took.
“He went through a hard time for three months with chemotherapy and phototherapy. But he is a fighter and our hero.
“Through all the ups-and-downs he faced, the man has never been known to give up,” he said.
“We leave it to him to make any decision on his badminton career.”
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A career in the limelight
In 2015 the 36-year-old was handed a backdated eight-month ban for a doping violation. Lee was stripped of his 2014 World Championships silver medal, but the panel ruled that Lee had no intent to cheat and allowed him to resume his career.
Lee amassed 705 wins and 134 losses overall, including 69 international titles.
The most recent was his 12th Malaysia Open title a week before the cancer diagnosis.
Lee won three Olympic finals with silver medals at Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016, five Commonwealth Games titles, two Asian Championships to add to his three silver medals at World Championships.
He was also ranked No. 1 in the world for 199 consecutive weeks from 21 August 2008 to 14 June 2012 to make him one of the greatest badminton players of his generation.