Last Malaysian standing Lee Chong Wei will meet China's Wang Zhengming in the quarter-finals of the badminton World Championships in Denmark. - BERNAMA
COPENHAGEN: All his team-mates have fallen by the wayside. Several top seeds have also tumbled out of the race.
But world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei remained rock steady as he seeks to restore the nation’s pride in the ongoing World Championships at the Ballerup Super Arena.
He is, after all, just a step away from reaching the semi-finals.
On Friday, he crushed Scott Evans of Ireland 21-11, 21-12 to set up a quarter-final clash against former world junior champion Wang Zhengming of China – a match that may well push the Malaysian to the limit for the very first time here.
Malaysia have never won a medal at the last three World Championships held in Copenhagen – in 1983, 1991 and 1999 – and Chong Wei hopes to assure the nation of at least a bronze by checking into the semi-finals.
Top seed Chong Wei, who has reached the finals of the last two World Championships in Wembley and Guangzhou, acknowledged that “my first big test will start from the quarter-finals”.
“I faced three lower ranked players in the early rounds ... I know it will only get tougher from here. I beat Zhengming in the world meet last year. He will be a tough opponent and I must be careful,” said Chong Wei, who has beaten Zhengming 11 times, with the most challenging one being in the second round of last year’s Indonesian Open.
“He took a game off me at the Indonesian Open. It was the closest. We should not underestimate anyone at the world meet.”
Some of the top seeds who have failed to even make the last eight are men’s singles third seed Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark, knee injury); women’s doubles top seeds Bao Yixin-Tang Jinhua (China) and second seeds Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Ryter Juhl (Denmark); and women’s singles defending champion Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) and Wang Yihan (China).