All together now: XOX Group Chief Executive Director Ng Kok Heng (centre) and Group Managing Director Datuk Eddie Chai (Kok Heng’s left) with brand ambassador Lee Chong Wei pose for a group photo after the launch of XOX Mobile’s first flagship store in Sunway Pyramid yesterday. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.
PETALING JAYA: As far as world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is concerned, his relationship with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost is “beyond repair”.
“The top (management) says my issue with Morten is settled ... but it’s not at the bottom level (on the training ground). But it’s all right. I’m just relieved to have voiced all my frustrations with Morten, which I have kept to myself for more than a year,” said Chong Wei yesterday.
Last Friday, BAM acting president Tan Sri Mohd Al-Amin Abdul Majid tried to play down the feud between Chong Wei and Frost by stating that whatever problems there were between the two had been resolved.
The strained relationship between Chong Wei and Frost came out in the open when the shuttler slipped and fell on the slippery court at the Academy Badminton Malaysia two weeks ago.
The three-time Olympic silver medallists, who tore a medial collateral ligament (MCL), claimed that Frost did not act quickly enough to his request for the slippery mats to be replaced.
The shuttler also said that he was hurt by some “insensitive” remarks made by Frost. Chong Wei even threatened to leave BAM.
Although Chong Wei feels that the matter is still unresolved, he has promised that he won’t let it stop him from chasing an improbable dream: a 13th – and final appearance – at the All-England badminton championships in Birmingham from March 7-12.
The three-time All-England champion has been undergoing a rehabilitation programme under the watchful eyes of National Sports Institute (NSI) physiotherapist Sandra Fiedler and the shuttler is pleased with his progress.
“I’m still hopeful of going to one of my favourite tournaments – the All-England. It’ll will be my last ... and I really want to go. The draw is quite good too,” said the top-seeded Chong Wei, who initially thought he would need three to six weeks to recover.
Chong Wei is in the same half as fourth seed Son Wan-ho of South Korea and China’s Chen Long in the All-England draw. His nemesis, China’s sixth-seeded Lin Dan is in the lower half with two Danes – second seed Jan O Jorgensen and Viktor Axelsen.
“I have two and half weeks more before the All-England. I also have two more ultrasound scan tests to undergo, so hopefully, I’ll be cleared to compete.
“My movements are still restricted. I aim to push myself during the recovery period. It’s not easy to recover after an injury, but I’m all fired up to bounce back and prove myself.”
If he fails to get the green light, Chong Wei will shift his focus to the Sudirman Cup in Australia in May and the World Championships in Scotland in August.
Yesterday, Chong Wei was the special guest at the launching of XOX Mobile Malaysia’s first flagship store – XOX Space – at the Sunway Pyramid.
Chong Wei, the XOX mobile brand ambassador, officiated at the opening by cutting the ribbons.
The XOX Space is the first of its kind to provide a fun environment for tele-communication subscribers to hang out and perform minor tasks with free Wifi available.