KUALA LUMPUR: National badminton ace Lee Chong Wei has been chosen to be the national flag bearer at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The announcement was made by Olympic Council of Malaysia President Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar after chairing an Executive Board Meeting at Wisma OCM here, today.
“Chong Wei has been selected as the flag bearer for our contingent. I think he deserves it.
“He has been an icon in Malaysian sports for a long time. By giving him the honour, it will also motivate him… as a leader of the team.
“He had presented us with two silver medals in previous Olympic Games. Let’s hope that he will win the elusive gold medal in Rio,” said Tunku Imran.
At the London Olympics four years ago, diving queen Pandelela Rinong was given the honour of carrying the national flag.
Meanwhile, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Deputy President Mohamad Norza Zakaria described Chong Wei’s selection as timely.
Chong Wei is the second badminton player to be given the honour.
In 1992, men’s doubles player Razif Sidek carried the national flag at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
“It is a proud moment for the sport of badminton. After all, this is the final Olympics for Chong Wei. The Olympics this time is also very meaningful to the national badminton arena, as we have qualified for all five events,” said Mohamad Norza, who is also the deputy president of OCM.
Besides Chong Wei (men’s singles), other shuttlers who have qualified for the Games in Rio are men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, mixed double’s pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, women’s singles representative Tee Jing Yi, and women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei.
So far 22 athletes have qualified on merit for the Olympics which is set to take place from Aug 5-21.