There are several appellants who stand tall when it comes to answering the greatest badminton player of all time. The fans are split between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei.
Lee and Lin who comprehensively dominated sports in the last two decades.
This duo faced each other on almost 40 occasions, Lin leading 28-12. They have been great ambassadors of the sport, have influenced a generation of players, and inspired many to take up badminton as a career.
From the first match in 2004, Thomas Cup to their last in 2018 at the All England open these two have dazzled the fans around the world.
Both Lee and Lin are literally above all the players in terms of success parameters, except for Olympic and World Championship gold the Malaysian has better stats than the Chinese left-hander. Lee who has played for the longest period with the highest number of matches than Lin has a higher winning percentage as shown below.
Both players matched each other with identical losing games with 134 apiece.
Lee Ching Wei also tops Lin Dan for the most number of Superseries titles tally with 46 to 21. It was Lee’s mental block against Lin which troubled the Malaysian most when it was needed. "Lin Dan was constantly in my head when I got back to training after every loss. I knew if I wanted to win important tournaments, I had to beat him. I couldn't relax," Chong Wei shared during his retirement announcement.
Lee had a good start to his 2018 campaign winning his fifth gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, winning the 12th Malaysia open title, and also reaching the semi-finals at the Indonesia Open. It would have been his 11th appearance at the 2018 World Championships (an event that he always wanted to win along with the Olympics) Badminton Association of Malaysia announced that Lee would be undergoing treatment for a respiratory disorder, which was later diagnosed as nasopharynx cancer.
On 13th June 2019, this special player announced his permanent retirement from the game as his doctor advised him to avoid high-intensity training to avoid a relapse of his cancer.
Following year in 2020, Lin Dan too announced his retirement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the badminton fans wanted these two supremely talented players for one last time at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 going head to head for one last time.