Badminton

Published: Wednesday September 3, 2014 MYT 10:26:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday September 3, 2014 MYT 10:30:10 PM

Fight together with me, Chong Wei urges teammates

Lee Chong Wei showing his disappointment after losing in the final of the World Championships. - Bernama

Lee Chong Wei showing his disappointment after losing in the final of the World Championships. - Bernama

PETALING JAYA: You can’t keep a good man down for long.

Just look at world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.

Although the shuttler was in a sombre mood on his return from Copenhagen on Tuesday following his latest World Championships heartbreak, on Wedneday he was back to his old self – issuing a rallying call to his team-mates to stand with him and deliver the goods at the Incheon Asian Games from Sept 19-Oct 4.

The 31-year-old Chong Wei fluffed his lines for a third straight time in the final of the World Championships on Sunday – losing 19-21, 19-21 to world No. 2 Chen Long.

He had also lost to Lin Dan in the two previous finals.

The latest defeat has not only cast more doubts over the future of the Penangite, who turns 32 next month, but that of Malaysian badminton as well.

Chong Wei has almost single-handedly shouldered the burden of bringing honours to the country for a long time. Now, he is steeling himself for more of the same when he competes in the Asiad in Incheon, South Korea.

“To be honest, it will be tougher at the Asian Games but I definitely hope to come back mentally stronger,” said Chong Wei.

“With Lin Dan also featuring (in the Asiad), it’ll definitely make the competition more interesting.

“I’m hoping to make a good comeback but, more importantly, I hope the whole team will stand up and fight together.

“It’s always been me ... so, hopefully things will be different this time. The doubles are also going through some changes and I hope that the new partnerships will do better in Incheon.

“Most importantly, don’t let me carry the burden all on my own. Everyone has to work together as a team,” added Chong Wei, who is seeking to become the first men’s singles gold medallist since Punch Gunalan in 1970.

Malaysia, who have never won the team gold medal either, will also have Chong Wei Feng and back-ups Goh Soon Huat and Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin in the team. The doubles pairs are Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong while the reserves are Lim Khim Wah and Chan Peng Soon.

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