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Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 6:54:11 AM
by rajes paul
Lee Chong Wei's training and schedule remains the same, except for skipping the BWF Super Series Finals from Dec 9-13 in Kuala Lumpur. – Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Being the world No. 1 singles shuttler and Malaysia’s most successful player has its perks.
While there have been changes made all around him under the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) new set-up, Lee Chong Wei’s training and tournament plans have remained untouched.
Chong Wei, who will turn 31 next month, said he will carry on with his plans without any interruptions and the only significant change in his calendar involves his decision to skip the BWF Super Series Finals from Dec 9-13 in Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian will leave this Sunday for Tokyo where he will be participating in next week’s Japan Open.
It will be followed by a two-week stint in China for the China league. He will also take part in the four remaining Super Series in Denmark, France, Hong Kong and China, which will run through October and November.
“I will be on my toes from next week onwards. I intend to defend my title in Japan,” said Chong Wei on Friday after a training session at the Looi Badminton Academy.
“Then, I will head straight to China. I am the only Malaysian playing in the China league and I will be in the same team as four-time world champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng. Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon has also been invited to play.
“I plan to take a break in December. I am not entered for the SEA Games in Myanmar. I would qualify for the BWF Super Series Finals as the top seed but I do not intend to play in it. I would rather take a break the whole of December and start afresh for the new season in 2014 with the Korean and Malaysian Opens.”
Unlike the other national shuttlers, Chong Wei has been exempted from the national ranking tournament, which is expected to be carried out next week. He will continue to train under Tey Seu Bock and Rashid Sidek.
Chong Wei said the changes made by BAM Talent Management Group director Tan Aik Mong have caused uneasiness among many players and coaches but he added that this was expected.
“Usually, there will be mixed responses when changes take place. I guess we just have to let everything take shape. Some players are still in the dark as to which group they will belong to as the national ranking tournament has not taken place,” said Chong Wei, who is the only player yet to meet Aik Mong.
“The changes in the coaching set-up have taken many by surprise; it just takes time to adjust to.”
Currently, Razif Sidek heads Team A, which consists of Rashid, Seu Bock, Zhou Kejian, Paulus Firman, Chang Kim Wai, Rony Agustinus, Ng Mei Fen, Wong Pei Tty and Jeremy Gan. Heading Team B is Hendrawan, who has under him Wong Tat Meng, Rosman Razak, Hazwan Jamaluddin, Chin Eei Hui and Chong Kien Ling.
Chong Wei said that he had mixed feelings about the changes.
“I wish Hendrawan had stayed in Team A. He has done well to raise the standard of some back-up players and naturally one would expect that the coach would continue with them. Now, he will have a new team,” he said.
“I also hope that the BAM will not delay in sending their players abroad. We need to have good world rankings if we even harbour hopes of qualifying for next year’s Thomas Cup Finals and World Championships. BWF (Badminton World Federation) have scrapped the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament and the qualification for the Thomas Cup Finals is now based on the players’ world ranking.
“I think the open selection is a good decision (to give club and state players a chance to challenge the national team). Generally, I am okay with all the changes. I would just advise the other players to focus on their game and not be too demoralised with all these changes,” added the two-time Olympic Games and World Championships silver medallist.
Tags / Keywords:
badminton, Lee Chong Wei, BAM, Badminton Association of Malaysia, Tan Aik Mong
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