KUCHING: After seeing his former protégé Datuk Lee Chong Wei lost for the second time in the Olympics badminton final to China’s Lin Dan, renowned sports psychologist Frederick Tan was very sympathetic.
The former mental coach and sports psychiatrist to the national sports icon commented that Lee played his best last night.
However, Lin Dan was the better player.
Tan, who is now the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS) deputy director has tipped Lee to create history as he face Lin Dan before the much anticipated final.
Had Lee won, it will be a spectacular history made as Malaysia seeks to win a gold medal in the Olympics.
“To me, Lee is my hero. And the hero of Malaysia. He put on a brave fight and in my opinion, Lee was very, very close to winning the gold medal. The 21-15, 10- 21 and 21-19 scoreline was incredibly close,” revealed Tan.
According to Tan, the game of badminton is all about discipline.
He believes that Lin Dan was equally prepared mentally for the showdown against Lee.
He commented Lee played much better last night compared to how he did four years ago in Beijing.
During the time, Tan was working with the shuttler.
“In the first set, Lee was doing well. He played for one point at a time basis and it worked for him,” Tan commented.
Tan continued that Lee tried to slow down in the second set but the plan backfired.
The reason for that was Lin Dan was the better player in fast-paced games.
“In the third set, Lin Dan got the better of him as Lee showed signs of fatigue.
Although they fought tooth and nail until the decider ended 20-19, Lin Dan prevailed,” said Tan in an exclusive interview with The Borneo Post.
As a personal friend to Lee, Tan is very sure that Lee will be feeling very sad that he failed to steer the country to greater heights in the Olympics this time around.
“Lee is a man who loved his country more than anything else. I have sent him an sms (short messaging service) yesterday and another just earlier on. I will be meeting Lee in KL as soon as the shuttler returns from London,” informed Tan.
Tan concluded that badminton is a sport which relied heavily on mental strength.
The player who displayed more nerves of steel is the better one.