Badminton: Wei Chong’s injury deals huge blow to gold medal hopes

ONE had a knee injury while the other had hurt his ankle.

But Man Wei Chong and Tee Kai Wun braved through their pain to give Chaloempon Charoenkitamorn-Nanthakarn Yordphaisong a hard time before going down fighting 20-22, 20-22 in a tie which was eventually won by Thailand 3-0.

The tough game, however, had floored Wei Chong-Kai Wun as they had to withdraw from yesterday’s first round of the individual competition. Both were not in good condition to play after aggravating their injuries.

Kai Wun broke down.

“I’m sorry, I tried but I couldn’t push myself to the maximum because of my ankle injury,” said Kai Wun, who had barely recovered from the troublesome injury, which he sustained at home.

Wei Chong, who tried to cover for his partner, also suffered a misfortune when he dislocated his knee after the first 11 points in the first game against the Thais.

“We played despite the pain as we wanted to win a point for the team but we couldn’t, as we couldn’t stabilize our game,” said Wei Chong.

Wei Chong-Kai Wun were Malaysia’s gold medal prospect and the ones expected to defend the gold won by Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik at the 2019 Philippines SEA Games.

Coach Tan Bin Shen lamented his top pair’s setback.

“Tee’s ankle got a bit swollen after the first team match against Vietnam. So, we decided to let him rest for the semi-final. He was getting better but unfortunately, in the final, Man also injured his knee after 11 points in the first game, ”said Bin Shen.

It was a sad end to Wei Chong-Kai Wun’s debut especially as both pairs were showing so much promise and had risen 10 spots to No. 34 in the world rankings after the recent Asian Championships.

But Bin Shen now wants the pair to ride through this storm and look forward to better times.

“We are sad that this injury happened at this time. I hope both of them will recover quickly and keep supporting each other. Hopefully, they will be back on court soon, ”said Bin Shen.

Meanwhile, there were mixed fortunes on the first day of action in the men’s singles when Lee Shun Yang reached the quarter-finals but Jacky Kok failed to go through despite his best efforts.

Shun Yang took full advantage of an easier match by dismissing Phonesack Sokthavy of Laos 21-5, 21-4 in 24 minutes but he has a tough last-eight battle against Thailand’s high-flying Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

“I will have no pressure against Vitidsarn, I will fight hard,” said the 20-year-old.

His compatriot Jacky gave Singapore’s reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew a run for his money before bowing out 21-18, 15-21, 11-21 in a 64-minute battle.

Despite the defeat, Jacky can hold his head high as it was an improved show after losing in straight games to Kean Yew in the team event.

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