Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei was on Sunday anointed Men’s Shuttler of the 2010s by Twitter users via a poll that ran over four days on BWF’s official account.
The 16 athletes with most major individual honours (see below) from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2019 were pitted against each other via a knockout format and men’s singles icon Lee emerged the pick of the bunch after four rounds of voting.
Lee saw off Chen Long (China) in the Round of 16, Lee Yong Dae (Korea) in the quarterfinals, Mohammad Ahsan (Indonesia) in the semis and Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) in the final. He garnered 58.9 per cent of the 10,984 votes in the showdown against doubles ace Setiawan.
Lee, a three-time Olympic silver medallist, had a supremely productive decade before an unfortunate illness forced him into retirement.
The lack of a world or Olympic title is often used by Lee’s detractors as a stick to beat him with but the true measure of his greatness was his consistency at the very top level of the game.
Unmatched feats in the last decade:
- 2010: Only male player to win three consecutive BWF Superseries Finals titles.
- 2011: First non-Indonesian to complete a hattrick of Indonesian Open titles.
- 2012: Completed record 199 consecutive weeks as world No.1.
- 2013: Fourth Superseries Finals title. No player has more.
- 2016: Only non-Indonesian to win six Indonesian Open titles.
- 2016: Became the first and only men’s singles player to make three consecutive Olympic finals.
- 2017: Hong Kong Open title was his 46th in the Superseries. No player has more.
- 2017: Completed 349 total weeks as world No.1. No player has reigned longer.
- 2018: 12th Malaysia Open title. No player has dominated a single event in such fashion.
Titles taken into account:
HSBC BWF World Tour (Super 500 and above)