Lee would be tough to beat at Rio Olympics: Gopichand

first_imgBy Amit Kumar Das New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) Indian badminton teams chief coach Pullela Gopichand is very impressed in the manner former world No 1 Lee Chong Wei has comeback after serving a doping ban and dubbed him as one of the toughest contenders for gold medal in this years Rio Olympics. The 33-year-old star shuttler was handed out an eight-month ban in April last year for a doping violation after traces of a banned substance were found in his system. However, he made a brilliant comeback into the international circuit with victories at the US Open, Canada Open, French Open, China Open and a silver at World Championships. “He has been an amazing sportsperson. He has highest quality fitness, concentration and a great ambassador of the sports. Its unfortunate whatever happened to him but that created a window, wherein a few other players benefitted. He has always been strong. He had his problems against a few top players in the world (from China) but other than that, he has ruled the world badminton in the last few years,” Gopichand said. “He will be someone who will be really difficult to beat because of his pure speed and sting in his strokes that makes him very very effective.” However, Gopichand didnt rule out the chances of Chinas Lin Dan and Cheng Long, both of whom had troubled Lee for the better part of his career. The current World No 5 had lost to Super Dan at Olympics final twice. “I have a great lot of respect for someone like Cheng Long. He is a fantastic individual, with whatever he has he maximizes it. He goes back and comes back very strongly in terms of his physical and mental preparations. So I wouldnt rule out somebody like Cheng Long ever,” he said. (MORE) PTI ATK KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more