KUALA LUMPUR: After two heartbreaking final losses at the Olympics, badminton singles coach Hendrawan is hoping that Lee Chong Wei will get it right at the third time of asking in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Hendrawan is pleased to see Chong Wei injury-free as he heads for his fourth and final Olympic outing.
“Chong Wei twisted his ankle a few months before the 2012 Olympics in London and he had to spend a lot of time getting back into shape rather than training,” said Hendrawan.
“This time he has no injury concerns and is in good form.
“Preparation-wise, it’s very important for him to be free from injury ... I hope it will be his turn (to become the Olympic champion).
“Four years ago, he was younger ... now he is more matured.
“Whether Lin Dan is in his half or not is not important. Chong Wei has to be prepared to beat anyone to achieve his goal.”
Coaches Hendrawan and Tey Seu Bock have been tasked with guiding Chong Wei in his bid to nab the elusive Olympic gold medal.
Chong Wei, who lost both the finals at the Beijing and London Olympics to long-time nemesis Lin Dan, left for Rio de Janeiro with the badminton squad last night.
The other shuttlers competing in Rio are Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles), Tee Jing Yi (women’s singles), Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (women’s doubles) and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles).
“We have 10 days to get used to the environment there. The National Sports Institute (NSI) are helping us out with video analysis of the opponents he will be facing. We are doing everything possible to help him be at his best,” said Hendrawan.
Chong Wei will be the flag bearer for the Malaysian contingent to Rio de Janeiro and he had the honour of receiving the Jalur Gemilang from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah at Istana Negara on Thursday.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong also handed over the Malaysian flag to Jong Yee Khie, who will be the flag bearer for the 16-member strong contingent to the Rio Paralympics from Aug 30-Sept 21.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there was no specific target for the Olympics, but believed that the athletes would not be there just to make up the numbers.
“I’m sure the athletes either have their own personal goals (to achieve) or what their associations have set for them,” he said.
CHEF DE MISSION: Tan Sri Mohd Al-Amin Abdul Majid.
ARCHERY: Khairul Anuar Mohamad, Haziq Kamaruddin, Muhd Akmal Nor Hasrin.
ATHLETICS: Nauraj Singh Randhawa, Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli.
AQUATICS: Pandelela Rinong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Ahmad Amsyar Azman, Ooi Tze Liang (diving); Heidi Gan (open water swimming), Welson Sim, Phee Jinq En (swimming).
BADMINTON: Lee Chong Wei, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Tee Jing Yi, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
GOLF: Danny Chia, Gavin Kyle Green, Kelly Tan, Michelle Koh.
TRACK CYCLING: Azizulhasni Awang, Fatehah Mustapa.
SHOOTING: Johnathan Wong Guangjie.
SAILING: Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy, Nur Shazrin Mohd Latif.
WEIGHTLIFTING: Mohd Hafifi Mansor (weightlifting).
CHEF DE MISSION: Dr Ang Kean Hoo.
ATHLETICS: Mohd Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi, Abdul Latif Romly, Muhd Ziyad Zolkefli, Siti Noor Iasah Ariffin, Mohd Faizal Aideal Suhaimi.
ARCHERY: Yuhaizam Yahya, Hasihin Sanawi.
CYCLING: Mohd Afiq Afify Rizan, Mohd Faizal Mohamad Noh, Mohd Khairul Hazwan, Mohd Rauf Nur Misbah.
POWERLIFTING: Mohd Shamil Saad.