THERE is no denying that World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei is still haunted by his 21-19, 21-19 defeat to China’s Chen Long in the men’s singles final at this year’s World Championships on Aug 31 – a title he very much wanted to deliver for the people of Malaysia as the perfect gift to celebrate 57th Merdeka.
He was Malaysia’s brightest hope to end China’s dominance in the World Championships and without ‘Superstar’ Lin Dan the title was Chong Wei’s for the taking. Instead he flopped at the final hurdle once again – for the third time to be exact – after 69 minute battle. Chong Wei displayed championship material until he came unstuck in the final.
Last night Chong Wei flew off to Incheon, South Korea for the 17th Asian Games and once again Malaysia is counting on the hottest badminton property in the country to land the gold medal after losing in a three set thriller to Lin Dan at the last edition of the Asiad in Guangzhou in 2010.
Lin Dan a close buddy of Chong Wei off the court, ripped his shirt and bared his chest in celebration. The scenario is still very much fresh in the minds of the badminton fraternity.
And Lin Dan is once again standing in Chong Wei’s way…or even Chen Long, who is now hailed as a perfect replacement to take over the reins from Lin Dan.
“Abang saya tak mahu komen apa apa (literally meaning ‘Bro I don’t want to say anything),” said Chong Wei before his flight when asked about his chances in Incheon.
“Much has been said and written about my failure in the World Championships. I have yet to overcome the disappointment…and I don’t want to dwell on what happened in Copenhagen.
“However, I have put in a lot of effort in my training and preparations for the Asian Games. I will give my best and hope for the best.”
Chong Wei was quick to point out that it will be much tougher playing in the Asian Games where the Chinese, South Korea,Japan, Indonesia and even India will parade their best in their quest to win gold medals.
THE MALAYSIAN TEAM
Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng
Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong
Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian
Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho
Chan Peng Soon Soon-Ng Hui Lin, Lim Khim Wah-Lim Yin Loo