Badminton: Chong Wei lines up course of action for better fortunes in major meets

PETALING JAYA: Former great Lee Chong Wei has sent out a timely message to lift up the morale of Malaysian shuttlers who are getting ready for a hectic schedule starting this month.

The players will be involved in a stretch of tournaments starting from the German Open in Mulheim from March 8-13 and All-England in Birmingham from March 16-20 before they compete in several majors like the Thomas Cup Finals, Vietnam SEA Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships.

And there are plenty of Open tournaments in between too.

Chong Wei, who has won a maximum of 11 titles in one year when he was still playing, hopes to see the national team ride on their recent Asia Team Championships success at home.

The men’s team lived up to their billing to win the tournament, which was devoid of stars while the women reached the semi-finals.

“The win is good although the field was not strong. The team needed to win to build their confidence after the struggle they had gone through the last two years (due to Covid-19), ”said Chong Wei.

“But they should not be contented with the win as there are bigger tournaments ahead. I hope to see our team winning medals in the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and make a mark in the Thomas Cup Finals. “

The former world No. 1 acknowledged that the players would continue to experience challenges as they would play under the bubble system this year but wanted them to persevere.

“The tournament calendar has been restored and most of the tournaments will resume but the Covid-19 threat is still there but I hope our players will press on,” he said.

“It’s a fresh start for everyone. If they lose one point, win the next one. If they lose one game, win the next. If they lose a match, bounce back to win the next, ”said Chong Wei.

“The fields will be more competitive in upcoming majors and I hope to see players like Ng Tze Yong and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik win medals as they are capable.

“Aaron-Wooi Yik has been inconsistent since winning the Tokyo Olympics bronze and we hope they will be more stable this year.”

Chong Wei hopes to witness the players winning medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and Asian Games in Hangzhou.

“I intend to bring my family to watch them in action in these two major events. I’ve competed in these two games many times but never had a chance to sit and enjoy it, ”he said.

“Both my sons Kingston (9) and Terrance (7) have been vaccinated and it’s my dream to take (Wong) Mew Choo and the kids there. I have wonderful memories in Birmingham. I hope our players will make us proud, ”added the four-time All-England champion.

He has won a total of five golds and one silver in the Commonwealth Games and collected one silver and four bronze from the Asian Games series.

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