Lee: BWF shouldn’t force top players to play more tourneys


Up in arms: Lee Chong Wei is against BWF’s new rule to make it compulsory for the top 15 singles players to play in 12 Open tournaments a year. —AFP

Up in arms: Lee Chong Wei is against BWF’s new rule to make it compulsory for the top 15 singles players to play in 12 Open tournaments a year. —AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: The World Badminton Federation (BWF) have made it compulsory for the top 15 singles players to play in 12 Open tournaments in a year – but it doesn’t sound like a smashing idea for the top players.

World No. 2 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei said the world body should not force the top players to bite off more than they can chew.

And to make his displeasure clear, Chong Wei has met up with BWF president Poul-Erik Hoyer and secretary general Thomas Lund – urging a change on behalf of all the top players.

“My calendar for this year freaks me out. I’ll probably be taking part in 19 tournaments. I’ve never taken part in more than 15 – even during my younger days!,” said Chong Wei.

“They should not force the players to play in too many tournaments.”

BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer during a press conference. IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star. August 11th, 2013.
Poul-Erik Hoyer

Under the world body’s new tournament rule this year, the top 15 men’s singles shuttlers will have to play in all three tournaments under Level Two – the All-England, Indonesian Open and China Open.

They also have to play in five Level Three tournaments – Malaysian Open, China Open, Denmark Open, France Open and Japan Open – and an additional four in Level Four.

“We have to play in a total of 12 tournaments or be penalised. Players also have obligations to play in other major tournaments like the Thomas Cup Finals and its qualifiers, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Asian Championships, Asian Badminton Championships and the World Superseries Finals.

“How can a top player cope? If the world body persist, the top players will not be able to give their best. They’ll be eventually burnt out. And there’s risk of injury too,” he said.

“I met president Poul-Erik and Thomas during the Superseries Finals in Dubai (last month). They were players before. They understand a player cannot be pushed like this. They’ll review,” said Chong Wei.

In fact, the Badminton Association of Malaysia secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai has sent an official letter to the world body to review the tournament calendar for the top players.

Badminton , Lee Chong Wei , BWF