Chong Wei Feng won five of the six matches he was fielded in at the recent Thomas Cup Finals.
PETALING JAYA: National No. 2 Chong Wei Feng used to be viewed as a shuttler who stumbled under pressure, but not anymore.
At the Myanmar SEA Games last December, he was given the top billing and hopes were high for him to end the nation’s wait for the men’s singles gold medal.
But he was sent packing in the first round by Thailand’s A.Suppanyu.
All that changed at the recently-concluded Thomas Cup Finals where he returned with five crucial points from six of the matches he was fielded in.
Wei Feng, who turned 27 on Monday, said he is feeling rejuvenated after helping Malaysia finish runners-up in the biennial team competition.
“The Thomas Cup helped me gain a lot of confidence, and made me realise that I can thrive under pressure,” said the world No. 24.
“There were several matches where I had to come back after trailing so far behind. My group match against Dieter Domke (of Germany) was one of them.
“After losing the opening game, I found myself 2-10 behind and then 7-14, but somehow I managed to overturn the situation.
“I knew I couldn’t afford to give up. It’s a team event and my defeat could affect my team-mates in the remaining matches.
“Against Ken Momota in the final, I gave my best. It was just that my game plan didn’t work well.”
The now upbeat Wei Feng is itching to return to action. He is hoping the Japan Open, from June 10-15, will help get his 2014 season back on track.
“It hasn’t been a good year for me so far, but there is enough time for me to catch up,” he added.
“My next goal is to qualify for my first ever Superseries final, My best performance so far is at the semis stage at the China Open last year, I will need to go a step further ... hopefully I can achieve it this year.”
Wei Feng has been handed a tough draw at the Japan Open with South Korea’s world No. 7 Shon Won-ho standing in his way in the first round, and China’s superstar Lin Dan a potential second round opponent.