Lee Chong Wei: ' The reality is that the standard of some of our youngsters is not there yet. I hope they will not be demoralised but will train harder.' – AFP Photo
PASIR GUDANG: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is out to wipe out the gloom in the men’s singles department following the insipid performances of his juniors at the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold last week.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei will begin his challenge in the Indian Open Wednesday in New Delhi and hopes are high on the top seed to bring some cheer to Malaysian fans in the Superseries tournament.
The three-time All-England champion will take on a qualifier in the opening round. He has three good Indian players – the Malaysia Open GP Gold runners-up Sourabh Varma, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and P. Kashap in his quarter.
Some of the other top players set to spice up the competition are second seed Chen Long, Japan’s Kenichi Tago, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen and Indonesa’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka.
Chong Wei sympathised with his juniors, urging them to continue training hard.
“The reality is that the standard of some of our youngsters is not there yet. I hope they will not be demoralised but will train harder,” said Chong Wei on Monday.
“It all depends on the quality of their training. If they are willing to go the extra mile in training, it will translate to good results in the competition. They just have to keep trying in other tournaments.”
Chong Wei also hopes that Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng will be back on their feet soon. Wei Feng hurt his back during the Malaysia Open GP Gold but will compete in the Indian Open, while Daren skipped the tournament because of a heel injury.
“It is unfortunate that injuries are hampering their progress. I have suffered injuries before and I understand their predicament. I just hope they will be in good form at the Thomas Cup Finals.”
Malaysia have been drawn in Group C with South Korea, India and Germany for the Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
“The draw is out and we have to start focusing on our opponents and getting ready for the Finals. South Korea will be our main stumbling block in the group,” he said.
“I was injured at the last edition (in Wuhan) but I will make sure I remain injury-free this time.”
On his chances at the Indian Open, Chong Wei said: “The tournament should be a good warm-up for most of players ahead of the Thomas Cup Finals.
“Many of India’s singles players have improved. I will stay focused and do what I like to do best – enjoy myself on the court,” added Chong Wei, who has won the Indian Open twice - in 2011 and 2013.