New Format Would Tempt Lee For Tokyo 2020

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 – Malaysia’s world number one Lee Chong Wei said a new scoring format could tempt him to extend his career to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and take yet another shot at an elusive badminton gold medal. The 33-year-old’s interest has been piqued by the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) experiments with an 11-point, best-of-five system, instead of the traditional 21-point, best-of-three format.

Lee said Chinese fellow veteran Lin Dan, a two-time Olympic champion, may also be persuaded to play on under the new system, which is considered less physically demanding and therefore better for older players. Lee was quoted as saying by the The Star newspaper on Wednesday that there was nothing is confirmed yet, but if there is indeed a change he could very well compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Even Lin Dan might play on as the 11-point system would mean shorter matches … which is better for senior players like us. We certainly have the experience. Playing in shorter matches is definitely better because I believe we can control the shuttlecock better.”

The BWF was not immediately available to comment on the new scoring format, which was trialled last week at an under-19 event in Malaysia. Lee had previously said that last month’s Rio Olympics, where he finished runner-up for the third Games in a row, would be his last. Despite failing once again to deliver Malaysia’s first ever gold medal, and a doping ban last year, Lee enjoys superstar status in his home country, where the BWF is based. — AFP

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