Former world No 1 Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei, who is seeded second, faces a challenge in this year’s World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland from Aug 21-27.
The 35-year-old Malaysian, who fell at the last hurdle three times – in London in 2011, Guangzhou (2013) and Jakarta (2015), however, has been told to take a positive approach in his bid to win his maiden world title.
Singles head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek has called on Chong Wei to take the tough challenge with an “open heart” although his hopes of reaching the final could be derailed by the mighty Chinese.
Chong Wei will be playing against two of the four top seeded players from China and is drawn to face World No.10 Tien Houwei in the third round . If he clears the hurdle he could face 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist and reigning champion, Chen Long in the quarter-finals.
If Chong Wei makes it past Chen Long the Malaysian has Denmark’s Olympics bronze medal winner Viktor Axelsen in the last four. Still, it could be a much awaited final between Chong Wei and his nemesis Lin Dan.
Misbun wants Chong Wei not to harp on the tough draw but instead “take on the challenge” in Glasgow.
“It is best to move on. Accept the draw and concentrate on the training for now so he can sort out all his doubts before the World Championship.”
“I have been putting more emphasis on improving his tactics and fitness. He is doing very well so far. I hope he can apply what he has learned during training on court,” said Misbun after a training session.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei, the world No 2, said that he will do his best no matter who he faces in Glasgow.
“This year will be a tough tournament as there will be four top players from China. But I will be mentally strong.
“I must be ready to face anyone if I want to win the World Championships. It is a big tournament for me and it is important that I stay relaxed, take care of my diet and sleeping habits especially in the coming two weeks.
“I have lost a few times in the World Championship and I think this is my chance to shine. I will push myself and my spirits are high,” said Chong Wei. – BY DESLYN YOON