Men’s singles greats Lin Dan and Lee Chong Weiwere officially inducted into the BWF Hall of Fame during a glitzy Gala Dinner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today.
Both players, who shared a world-renowned legendary rivalry, were presented a special plaque from the Royal Selangor by BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
Earlier, Høyer paid tribute to the iconic figures in his speech.
In the event, graced by Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, Høyer said: “Your now famous contests caught the attention of the world, and doubtlessly attracted millions of new followers and players to the game.
“And as dominant as you were each individually, your passionate rivalry and camaraderie enriched badminton all over and is a significant part of the identity both of you share.
“I salute and admire everything you have done for badminton and am so pleased to oversee your elevation to sporting immortality tonight.”
Lin, in his acceptance speech, promised to continue doing his bit for the sport.
“I’d like to thank my home country, the Chinese Badminton Association and my fans for their support all these years. I’d still like to participate in badminton and help promote it globally.”
An emotional Lee credited his wife, former Malaysian women’s singles player Wong Mew Choo, for being his pillar of strength.
“She always supported me win or lose. I’m standing on this stage because of her,” said Lee, who has made a full recovery from nose cancer which ended his career.
“I hope Lin Dan and I can continue contributing to the sport. We have a lunch tomorrow, during which we will discuss how to promote this sport around the world. We both want more people to play and like badminton.”
Asked what he admired most about Lee, Lin said: “His skills, spirit and energy. I respect those qualities. I’m very honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside my friend.”
Lee and Lin were the most dominant men’s singles players of their generation.
Having begun their senior international careers in the early 2000s, Lee and Lin went on to stamp their presence on the game until their retirements in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Between them, they contested a total of five Olympic and 10 BWF World Championships finals.
Lin was unrivalled when it came to the Major Championships, with two Olympic and five World Championships titles. Lee finished with 47 BWF Superseries/World Tour titles and was world No.1 for an astounding 349 weeks.
The Hall of Fame was started in 1997 and honours players and administrators who have enhanced the sport through exceptional achievements.