NANJING: Shuttlers from all over the world have sent heartfelt wishes to national men's singles ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who is undergoing treatment for a respiratory-related illness.
Five-time world champion Lin Dan, with whom Chong Wei has forged a great rivalry and unique friendship with over the last decade, led the messages by saying that he was looking forward to the Malaysian player's return to the court.
"As his opponent and friend, I hope that he will recover soon," said Lin Dan during the World Championships.
"His absence from the World Championships and the Asian Games will be a huge loss to the men's singles.
“I hope he will recover and return to competitions as soon as possible,” Lin Dan added.
World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark also encouraged Chong Wei to beat the illness and make a speedy recovery.
"I really hope Chong Wei will get well soon and that the treatment will go well.
"Best wishes from me and we hope to see him back," said Axelsen after opening his world title defence with a 21-8, 21-7 triumph over Duarte Nuno Anjo of Portugal yesterday.
Brice Leverdez of France, who was drawn to face Chong Wei in the rematch of last year's first round at the world meet, described the latter's absence from the international stage as "not good" for the sport.
"The players like to play against those (top) guys and the crowd loves to see them play too.
"Hopefully, he'll get better soon," he said.
In Glasgow, Scotland, last year, Leverdez beat Chong Wei in the first round of the World Championships, ending the Malaysian player's elusive chase for his first world title.