Giving it his all: Chan training hard for the upcoming 98th All England Seniors Championship.
THE recent victory by World No.1 Lee Chong Wei over China’s Chen Long in the All England Open Badminton Championships will serve as an inspiration for senior shuttler Chan Wan Seong in his quest to top the coveted 98th All England Seniors Championship.
Chan will face younger opponents in the Men’s Singles 55-59 age-group in the championship to be held at the Hertfordshire Sports Complex, Hatfield, from April 11 to 13.
He said this would be his last year playing in this age-group before moving up to the next age-group in 2015.
“In this year’s All England Seniors, my main competition will come from the younger players who have just moved to the 55-59 age-group as they will be the dark horses with the advantage of age.
“In order to sustain my fitness-level and consistency, I need to be self-disciplined and train hard, “ he said.
Chan came close to winning the title in 2012 when he finished as runner-up. In 2013, he secured third placing.
He also pointed out that a player who reached the final would play more than 10 sets with over five matches a day, depending on whether the player won the matches in straight sets or via rubber sets.
“Based on my experience, this tournament is the world’s toughest and most demanding for seniors.
“When I emerged as runner-up in 2012, I played a total 12 sets in one day whereas in 2013, I played 11 sets.
“To survive the round-robin stage and advance to the knockout and final stage, one has to be physically and mentally fit,” Chan said during an interview with StarMetro
In this tournament, all the singles
matches are played in one day (within six hours) from the round-robin stage to the knockout semi-final stage until the final, using the best of three sets, 21-point format.
There will only be a 20-30 minutes break in between each match.
Being the only Malaysian competing in the 55-59 age group, Chan was forced to form a scratch partnership with a London club player, Naresh Gathani, in the Men’s Doubles.
Chan is without a Malaysian men’s doubles partner as his previous two partners in
2012 and 2013 have declined to participate in this year’s tournament as they find it too strenuous to cope with the taxing match schedules.
“They have opted to compete in the World Morning Cup in Taipei, which coincides with the All England Seniors but is played under a one set, 31-point knock-out format,” he said.
Being a seasoned and competitive player, Chan is training hard to secure a breakthrough achievement in the tournament after significant performances in international tournaments last year.
En route to his winning the Pattaya Sawasdee Cup in Thailand last November, he had defeated the 2012 World Chinese champion, Zee Jeffrey Jamin of Hong Kong, in the semi-finals and ousted Thai player Chayud Sukontaborpitr 31-19 in a convincing fashion.
In the BWF World Seniors Championship in Ankara, Turkey in September last year, Chan had also upset the 2013 All England Seniors champion, Karsten Meier of Denmark, in straight sets to reach the quarter-final stage of the 55-59 age-group.
With this, Chan hopes to achieve further successes in evety international tournament he is participating in this year.