KUALA LUMPUR: It is time world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei gets a new coach to turn his game around, says former badminton world champion Han Jian of China.
Chong Wei has failed to win two major titles this year. He lost to China’s Chen Long in the final at the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark in August.
At the Asian Games, he again lost to Chen Long during the semi-final of the team event against China and was beaten by Lin Dan of China in the semi-finals of the individual competition.
The 58-year-old Han Jian, while applauding what his current coaches had done over the years, felt that a new coach with a different approach would be able to resurrect Chong Wei’s game.
“We have seen the same results from Chong Wei under the current coaches. A new person can bring a refreshing change, said Han Jian, who was chief coach when Malaysia won the Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1992.
“This coach should focus more on analysing Chong Wei’s game. This coach should also have a support group who are able to give feedbacks on areas where Chong Wei needs to improve.”
Han Jian also said the coach must be a former top player that is highly respected.
“Having a new coach will not make a difference if Chong Wei is not receptive to the changes. It will not be easy but I would encourage him to try it.
“I have not seen any improvement in his game of late and due to his age it will get even harder for him to progress.”
Chong Wei has trained under Tey Seu Bock for the last four years. He is assisted by singles head coach Rashid Sidek and also back-up coach and former world champion Hendrawan of Indonesia.
Chong Wei enjoyed his best years under Seu Bock and Rashid – reaching the World Championships finals in 2011 (Wembley) and 2013 (Guangzhou). He also reached the 2012 London Olympic Games final and won numerous Superseries titles including three All-England titles.
Han Jian, who is currently the chief coach of Setia Badminton Academy in Shah Alam, quit the sport when he was 31.
“I quit because I was not getting any fitter and younger players like Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua were better than me.
“Chong Wei and Lin Dan are getting older but I do not see any juniors beating them consistently and that to me is a really bad sign for badminton.”