Lee Chong Wei (centre) and the Thomas and Uber Cup players posing for a photo at KLIA.
SEPANG: World number one shuttler Lee Chong Wei is determined to make the Thomas Cup Finals, which start in New Delhi on Sunday, memorable after an agonising campaign in Wuhan two years ago.
In that tournament, Chong Wei landed awkwardly after retrieving a shot from Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark in their final group tie in Wuhan. It resulted in a torn tendon on his right foot,
It was the end of Malaysia’s campaign as the weakened team fell 1-3 to China in the last eight.
After 10 days of centralised training, Chong Wei left with his team-mates for New Delhi on Thursday for his sixth Thomas Cup campaign.
His wife Wong Mew Choo, a former top women’s singles player, was at the airport to wish him luck.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist wants to make his mark in New Delhi by winning all the matches he is fielded in.
Malaysia are in Group C with hosts India, South Korea and Germany. They take on the hosts on Sunday followed by Germany the next day and South Korea on Wednesday.
“This could well be my last Thomas Cup appearance for the country as I am not sure what will happen in two years’ time.
“My initial target is to win all the group matches. I should be playing Son Wan-ho (South Korea), Marc Zwiebler (Germany) and K. Srikanth (India).
“I know the expectations are on me to win the first point to give the team a head start.
“I will try my best not to let the country down.
“I was injured and could not complete my job two years ago. I do not want it to happen again,” said Chong Wei, who is also glad to see Badminton Association of Malaysia having faith in Liew Daren to captain the team.
Completing the singles line-up for Malaysia is Chong Wei Feng and Goh Soon Huat.
The doubles players for the Thomas Cup Finals are Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Tan Boon Heong-Chan Peng Soon.
“It is good that someone else gets a bigger responsibility in team tournaments as I won’t be around forever.
“Team morale was good (at the centralised training) as we did everything together. I hope this continues during the competition.
“We will focus on winning the group stage first and see what happens after that,” he added.
The Uber Cup Finals singles players are Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun and Lim Chiew Sien, while Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho and Lim Yin Loo-Lim Meng Yean shoulder the doubles challenge.