Lee Chong Wei on arrival from Denmark at KLIA, being greeted by his wife Wong Mew Choo and son, Kingston. - IBRAHIM MOHTAR/ The Star
SEPANG: It was a low-key return for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Tuesday as he cast more doubt over his future.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei suffered yet another heartbreak at the World Championships in Copenhagen as he was failed to find a way past a pumped-up Chen Long of China in Sunday’s final – losing 19-21, 19-21.
It was the Penangite’s third consecutive defeat in the world meet final, having also lost in the 2011 and 2013 editions to nemesis Lin Dan.
Chong Wei was significantly more subdued this time, probably aware that he has missed his best chance to end Malaysia’s 37-year wait for a world champion.
After a small reception with his wife Wong Mew Choo and son Kingston, Chong Wei addressed the media with a sombre smile before admitting that he is mentally not ready to ponder his future.
“I really tried my best in the final ... but I just wasn’t good enough,” said Chong Wei.
“I don’t know if it will be my last World Championships or if I’ll stay on until the 2016 Olympics. I’m mentally not ready to face these questions yet.
“I do know, however, that there is the Asian Games (in Incheon) in two weeks’ time and I have to be prepared for that.
“Perhaps, it’s for the best because the Asiad is just as important as the world meet.
“Maybe it’s even more important because it’s (the Asiad) only held once every four years while the world meet is held every year.
“As for my future, I’ll think about it after the Games,” added Chong Wei, who lost in the 2010 Asian Games final to Lin Dan.
Chong Wei is keeping his fingers crossed that he can bounce back strongly from the latest world meet setback.
“I’ve came back from defeats many times. I just need to be mentally stronger this time. I also think that the Asian Games will definitely be a tougher challenge for me as China’s top two (Lin Dan and Chen Long) will be competing. So, it will be up to me to be strong enough to rise to that challenge,” he said.
Malaysia have never won the team gold medal at the Asian Games. Punch Gunalan is the only Malaysian to have won the men’s singles gold medal at the Asiad – in 1970.
In Incheon, Malaysia will also be banking on Chong Wei Feng in the individual event. The men’s team will also include backup shuttlers Goh Soon Huat and Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin.