KUALA LUMPUR: The time has come for Lee Chong Wei to deliver the goods at the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, from Aug 21-27.
That is the message from Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is hoping to see more Malaysians become world champions.
The 34-year-old Chong Wei has featured in the world meet nine times and was runner-up three times – in London (2011), Guangzhou (2013) and Jakarta (2015).
He finished third in California, the United States, in 2005.
Khairy said that the pressure is on Chong Wei to finally end his title drought in the world meet.
“I met Chong Wei two days ago and told him to look at (tennis star) Roger Federer. The Swiss is 35 years old and still won this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon Open.
“I told Chong Wei age is not a factor when it comes to winning titles.
“I hope track cyclist Azizulhasni (Awang) and diver Cheong Jun Hoong’s efforts in winning the world titles will boost Chong Wei’s confidence ahead of the world meet in Glasgow,” said Khairy after launching the limited edition merchandise for the 29th SEA Games and the 9th Asean Para Games yesterday.
Petronas and Telekom Malaysia Berhad, the Platinum co-sponsors, are producing plush toys of “Rimau”, the Games official mascot as well as tumblers, jerseys, battery-powered fans, umbrellas, wet wipes and fridge magnets among others.
Jun Hoong created the biggest surprise when she won the women’s 10m platform individual title at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday.
Khairy is happy to note that Malaysia has produced four world champions in the last four months.
Azizulhasni became the country’s first world champion when he won the keirin gold at the World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong in April.
Last weekend, Rio Paralympic gold medallists Ziyad Zolkefli and Abdul Latif Romly triumphed at the World Para Athletics Championships in London.
Ziyad broke his own world record with a throw of 17.29m en route to winning the men’s shot putt F20 (learning disability) on Saturday, erasing the previous world record mark of 16.84m he set in Rio Paralympics last September.
Abdul Latif retained his men’s long jump T20 (learning disability) crown on Sunday with a leap of 7.37m to better his own mark of 7.35m, which he set en route to winning gold in the 2015 world para meet in Doha, Qatar.
Then came Jun Hoong’s heroics – making her the country’s second world champion in an Olympic sport.
Today, Mohd Ridzuan Mohd Puzi will be looking to become Malaysia’s fifth world champion.
The Perlis-born athlete will start as the favourite to retain the men’s T36 (cerebral palsy) 100m gold in the World Para Athletics Championships at the Olympic Park Stadium in London.
The Rio Paralympics gold medallist will compete in the 100m heats at 7.20pm (Malaysian time). The final is at 3.20am (tomorrow Malaysian time).
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