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Saturday February 2, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:38:51 AM
by rajes paul
Level-headed champion: Lee Chong Wei said he would never take any
tournament, or opponent, lightly.
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is in no mood to find out the reasons behind Lin Dan’s continued absence from the international scene.
He’d rather let sleeping dogs lie.
The China ace has not taken part in any tournament since defeating Chong Wei in the men’s singles final of the London Olympic Games in August.
“I have no comment on this matter. He must have his own reasons for skipping the tournaments. I’d rather stay focused on my own game,” Chong Wei said after a training session at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan’s name was removed from the list just before the closing date for the All-England ended on Thursday – sparking a series of rumours, including being ill-prepared and souring his relationship with the China BA.
The All-England, the oldest badminton tournament, will be held from March 5-10 in Birmingham.
It will still boast a strong field, including Lin Dan’s younger team-mates – Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Chen Jin, Wang Zhengming, Gao Huan and Chen Yuekun.
Asked if it would be easier for him to win his third All-England title without Lin Dan in the fray, Chong Wei said that he would never take any tournament, or opponent, lightly.
“There’ll be other regulars – players I am familiar with. It’s important to be ready against anyone at any time,” said Chong Wei, who won the All-England titles in 2010 and 2011.
In the 100th edition of the All-England in 2010, he defeated a stubborn Kenichi Tago of Japan in the final. In 2011, he showed his class with a straight-game win over Lin Dan in the final to prove that he can beat his nemesis in a major tournament.
The 30-year-old Chong Wei agreed that expectations would be higher on him to win the All-England title, especially after bagging the season’s first two tournaments – Korean Open and Malaysian Open.
“I didn’t feel my age during those two tournaments. I felt like a 26-year-old. I’m looking forward to another good year,” he quipped.
Chong Wei, however, promised not to rest on his laurels.
“I am flying off to Jakarta tomorrow (today). I’ll play two matches – on Sunday and Monday. I’ll be back home on Tuesday. I don’t want to overstrain myself,” said Chong Wei, who will play for the Musica Champion club owned by former world champion Hariyanto Arbi.
“I’ve been given five days’ break for Chinese New Year. But I’ll get down to doing some light training after just two days. I can already picture all the good food. I don’t want to gain weight.
“This year, I’ll celebrate Chinese New Year with my wife (Wong Mew Choo) here in Kuala Lumpur.
“Yes, it will be different as I’ll be celebrating it as a husband and a father-to-be.
“And, I’ll also have to give out ang pows for the first time,” added Chong Wei with a hearty laugh.
Chong Wei and Mew Choo are expecting their first child in May.
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Others, Sport, Sport, Sport, Badminton, Lee Chong Wei, All-England
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