Lee Chong Wei (left) going through the paces on the first day of centralised training at Juara Stadium on Monday. - ROHAIZAT MD DARUS/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: The first day of the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals centralised camp got off to a pretty good start – albeit a minor scare regarding world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s condition.
Chong Wei got off to a hesitant start during training at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on Monday after complaining of pain on his left leg – near his groin.
The two-time Olympic Games silver medallist did not push very hard during training and national singles coach Rashid Sidek brushed off the whole incident as a minor thing.
“He informed us of the discomfort but it’s nothing serious,” said Rashid, who is the Thomas-Uber Cup project leader.
It is important that Chong Wei is in good condition for the Finals as the success of Malaysia depends very much on him. Malaysia will be going into every tie assured of at least one point from the ever-dependable Chong Wei.
The others in the 10-member squad are Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Tan Boon Heong and Chan Peng Soon.
Rashid said that they’ve planned various activities for the players during the 10-day centralised camp.
“The players will have different sessions every day. We’ll alternate it with workouts in the gymnasium (at Bukit Jalil) and court training (at Bukit Kiara). There will also be motivational talks and video viewing sessions, which will be handled by experts from NSI (National Sports Institute),” he said.
“We do not want to overwhelm them with too many things ... we are doing enough to build up team camaraderie and unity among the players. They are staying and travelling together.”
Rashid said that they had extended the training hours in the afternoon because most of Malaysia’s matches will be held at 2pm in New Delhi.
“We have been informed that the hall will be air-conditioned ... but the temperature in New Delhi during that time will be 40°C. The players will have to get adjusted to all this,” he said.
Rashid said that the team’s main focus was to emerge as champions in Group C, which also comprises South Korea, Germany and India.
“We want to go far but, for now, our concentration and focus is all on coming through the group as the champion. Then, we’ll take it one match at a time from the quarter-finals onwards,” he added.
Malaysia’s Uber Cup Finals hopes will be on the 10-member team of Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun, Lim Chiew Sien, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho and Lee Meng Yean-Lim Yin Loo.
They are in Group D with Japan, Denmark and Germany. The top two teams will advance to the last eight, where a fresh draw will determine the quarter-final match-ups.