KUALA LUMPUR: There is no wild card joy for shuttler Lee Chong Wei, after all.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai confirmed Thursday that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) have rejected their official request for former world No. 1 Chong Wei to be given a wild card for the World Championships in Jakarta from Aug 10-16.
In the official list published by BWF on Monday, Chong Wei did not qualify for the world meet as he’s ranked below Malaysia’s top two qualifiers – world No. 31 Chong Wei Feng and world No. 41 Zulfadli Zulkiffli.
But there’s still hope for world No. 46 Chong Wei to make his ninth appearance in the world meet.
It’s now up to BAM, whether they are willing to drop one of the two qualifiers to accommodate Chong Wei.
The national body have until May 14 to do so.
Chin Chai was visibly disappointed with BWF’s decision not to give Chong Wei the wild card.
“BWF sent us an official letter today. They did not say why Chong Wei was not accorded a wild card except that they are not exercising their right to give a wild card to any players this year,” said Chin Chai.
“If BWF had given the wild card to Chong Wei, we would have three qualifiers in men’s singles ... they have their own reasons.”
Chong Wei has been just cleared to play after serving an eight-month ban for failing a doping test at last year’s World Championships in Copenhagen.
Chin Chai said that the All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) also did not exercise their right to use the wild card. But the wild card would be reserved for their own players.
BWF had set a precedent when they gave China’s Lin Dan, who hadn’t featured in any of BWF’s tournaments for a year, a wild card to play in the 2013 World Championships in Guangzhou.
BWF reckoned that Lin Dan’s presence at the home tournament would pull in the crowd and his inclusion saw China having four men’s singles qualifiers.
So, over to BAM now.