Boonsak Ponsana is the latest to withdraw from the World Championships.
Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana is the latest singles shuttler to pull out from the World Championships.
And with Boonsak out injured, many are assuming Lee Chong Wei’s task of becoming the nation’s first world champion has become much easier.
But Japan’s chief coach Park Joo-bong begs to differ.
The South Korean feels that a spate of withdrawals may backfire on Chong Wei if he does not handle it well.
The other casualties to date are Japan’s Kenichi Tago, Simon Santoso of Indonesia and Du Pengyu of China.
“Without five-time world champion Lin Dan and several other top players, the path does seem easy for Chong Wei but I do hope he remains calm,” said Joo-bong.
Chong Wei is in the top half with Japan’s Kento Momoto, India’s P. Kasyap, China’s Wang Zhengming and Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen. In the lower half are second seed Chen Long of China are Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, Shon Wan-ho of South Korea and Hu Yun of Hong Kong.
“All are eyeing for his scalp and he should not take anyone lightly.
“I would advise Chong Wei to treat this world championships as just another Superseries tournament. After all he is the King of Superseries.
“However, Chong Wei must be mentally stronger to win here as the circumstances are totally different.”
On Japan’s chances, Joo-bong said that it would be tough. He said the men had not settled down after winning the Thomas Cup Finals in May.
“There have been a lot of celebration after the victory. When Tago reported for centralised training, he suffered a back injury.
“Kento is not in good form ... and the doubles players are also not at their best. I had hoped for better commitment from them but they have struggled. It will be tough,” added Joo-bong.