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Published: Tuesday March 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 2:00:51 PM

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei determined to do well this year despite falling ill

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s participation in next week’s Australian Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Sydney from April 2-7, is hanging in balance.

Since returning from the All-England in Birmingham, Chong Wei (pic) had been sick for the last 10 days.

Chong Wei, who will turn 30 in October, had been battling flu and fever. He turned up for training yesterday at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara but only did a quick work-out to ensure that he does not lose his momentum.

“Since I got back home from Birmingham, I have been sick. This is one of the longest stretch that I have been ill,” said Chong Wei in a hoarse voice.

At Birmingham, Chong Wei was denied his third All-England title and third Super Series crown after crashing to China’s Chen Long in the final of the oldest tournament.

The two-time Olympic Games silver medallist had started the year with a bang after winning the Korean and Malaysian Opens.

Chong Wei admitted that lethargy had set in but he had no plans to take a long break – as how his nemesis Lin Dan of China had done. Lin Dan had been missing from action since beating Chong Wei for the gold medal at the London Olympic Games in August.

“I was rather tired after all the hard work at the All-England but I am still determined to do well this year. I will be happy if I can maintain a semi-final or final finish in every tournament that I compete in this year,” he said.

“My next tournament is the Australian Open but I am not sure whether I will be ready for it. We will see how it goes in the next few days.

Chong Wei is the top seed in the Australian GP Gold but he should nick it without much problem as all the top players from China, Indonesia, Denmark and South Korea are giving the tournament a miss.

Second seed Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam has withdrawn from the tournament and his closest rivals could be fellow Malaysians Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng.

Chong Wei’s participation in the next two tournaments – India Open Super Series from April 23-28 in New Delhi and Malaysian Open GP Gold from April 30-May 5 at Kuantan are also pending. His wife Wong Mew Choo may give birth to his first child during that time.

Chong Wei, however, is committed to one thing right now – and that is to turn up and support his team during the return leg of the Axiata Cup, starting this Thursday at Putra Stadium.

“Our team have a chance of making the semi-finals and I will be there to support them. Hopefully, our men singles players (Daren and Wei Feng) will be able to give rousing performances,” added Chong Wei, who has decided to give his younger team-mates a break to prove themselves in the mixed team event.

Meanwhile, national coach Tey Seu Bock, is monitoring Chong Wei’s performances and is more focused on preparing the Malaysian for the Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur from May 19-26 and the World Championships in Guangzhou.

“Chong Wei is focused in what he wants to achieve. It is just that he has been ill since returning from Birmingham. We are just re-looking at his training programme,” said Seu Bock.

“Almost all the singles players will be out for tournaments next week (Vietnam Open and Australian Open) and there may not be anyone to train with Chong Wei. Sometimes, going for tournament is good as it gives him some quality matches and I treat is as part of the training. Let’s hope he will recover quickly.”

Tags / Keywords: Others, Sport, Sport, Sport, Badminton, Lee Chong Wei, Australian Open

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