PETALING JAYA: National singles coach Hendrawan believes that Lee Chong Wei’s preparation for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August is on the right track after the shuttler’s Indonesia Open triumph.
The 33-year-old Chong Wei showed great resolve to beat determined world No. 5 Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark 17-21, 21-19, 21-17 in the final in Jakarta on Sunday.
The narrow win handed Chong Wei his 64th career title – and also a record-equalling sixth Indonesia Open crown.
More importantly, Chong Wei will also regain the world No. 1 spot which he held from 2006-2014. He is set to take over the No. 1 spot from China’s Chen Long when the new ranking list is released on Thursday.
“The Indonesia Open final was one of Chong Wei’s toughest matches because Jorgensen was at his very best ... he was attacking the net and he was also solid in defence,” said Hendrawan.
“I told Chong Wei to be better prepared physically and mentally for the second game and it worked in our favour because Jorgensen began to tire in the third set ... and his speed waned.
“This win definitely puts Chong Wei on the right track in his preparation for the Olympics ... with two more months to go. We still have to work on tactics, physical training and how to handle the pressure.”
Chong Wei has one more tournament – the Australian Open which starts in Sydney on Tuesday – before focusing on the Olympics.
Chong Wei, who has never won the Australian Open, is the second seed and faces Indonesian youngster Jonatan Christie in the first round.
With top guns like China’s Lin Dan, Jorgensen and fellow Dane Viktor Axelsen all having withdrawn from the competition, Chong Wei is expected to reach the final for the second successive week.
The other Malaysian men’s singles shuttlers in the fray are national No. 2 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli.
The men’s pairs competing are Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Lee Yan Sheng-Lin Woon Fui and Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayup-Jagdish Singh.
In women’s singles, world junior champion Goh Jin Wei will make her debut in a Superseries event. The 16-year-old faces Canada’s Michelle Li in the first round.