Life goes on for Chong Wei after Sudirman Cup exit

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in action against South Korea's Lee Dong-keun at the Sudirman Cup in China on Sunday. Chong Wei won in straight sets. - AP

DONGGUAN: Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei will have no time to rue over Malaysia’s quarter-final exit from the Sudirman Cup.

Up next for the 32-year-old is the Singapore SEA Games from June 5-16. This will be followed by the US Open (June 16-21), Canada Open (June 23-28) and World Championships in Jakarta in August.

The Sudirman Cup, a biennial mixed team event, was Chong Wei’s first tournament after serving an eight-month suspension for a doping violation.

He showed the world that he’s still a potent force with convincing wins over world No. 4 K. Srikanth of India (21-16, 21-15) and world No. 5 Son Wan-ho of South Korea (21-17, 21-12).

“I think my performances at the Sudirman Cup were pretty good. Although I missed seven months of action, I’m still in quite a good shape,” said Chong Wei.

“I’m not completely back at my best yet ... I hope to improve with more serious training.”

World No. 46 Chong Wei, who was powerless to stop Malaysia from losing 3-1 to South Korea in the quarter-finals on Thursday, couldn’t help but look ahead – with the SEA Games and World Championships on the horizon.

“Now that I’m going for the world meet, there’s a target for me to aim at during training. Previously, I just trained without any specific targets ... that didn’t help me much,” he said.

Another priority for Chong Wei is to work his way back up the world rankings in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics next year.

The two-time Olympic silver medallist is expected to drop out of the top 70 in the latest world rankings as he’s set to lose the points gained from the Thomas Cup and Japan Open during the May-June period last year.

“With the Sudirman Cup done, I will continue to train for the SEA Games ... I’ll be playing in the team event,” said Chong Wei.

“Then I will head to the US Open and the Canada Open to get more matches under my belt.

“Once that’s done, I’ll have five weeks to prepare for the world meet. Hopefully by then, I’ll have my A game back.”

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