Without Chong Wei, BAM forced to lower targets for World Championships and Asiad

Get well soon: Lee Chong Wei is suffering from a respiratory problem which will rule him out for at least one month.

KUALA LUMPUR: The withdrawal of badminton ace Lee Chong Wei from two major competitions is a big blow to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

BAM secretary Datuk Ng Chin Chai said they would have to review their targets in both the World Championships and Asian Games.

The 35-year-old Chong Wei dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he announced his withdrawal from the World Championships in Nanjing, China, which begins next Monday, and the Asiad in Indonesia from Aug 18-Sept 2 due to health issues.

Chong Wei was mysteriously absent from training for more than a week before the BAM confirmed the world No. 2 is suffering from a respiratory problem which will rule him out for at least one month.

Besides being widely tipped as a gold-medal prospect in the men’s singles, Chong Wei was also expected to play a pivotal role in the men’s team event.

“With Chong Wei in the squad, the national contingent have a good chance of winning medals in the men’s singles and men’s team competitions, but that’s no longer the case now,” said Chin Chai, also the coaching and training committee chairman.

“His absence is surely a big loss as he has been anchoring the team for many years.

“So we definitely have to review and lower our target now that we’re going to the Asian Games without him.”

At the last Asiad in Incheon four years ago, Malaysia could only bag four bronze medals through Chong Wei (men’s singles), Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (men’s doubles), men’s team and Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (women’s doubles).

For the World Championships which begins in Nanjing next Monday, Chin Chai has confirmed that the void left by Chong Wei will not be filled.

His opponent Brice Leverdez of France will receive a bye into the second round.

In the reserves list, Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen was supposed to be promoted to the 64-player main draw but according to BWF World Championships rules, there will be no further changes made once the draw was released.

Malaysia will be represented only by former international Liew Daren.

Meanwhile, Chin Chai has refused to reveal whether Chong Wei is currently receiving treatment at the hospital or resting at home.

“Datuk Seri Norza (Zakaria, BAM president) and I have gone to see him. He’s feeling down. I supposed that’s normal when the person is sick,” said Chin Chai.

“We know his whereabout but we can’t reveal it.

“For the time being, he has asked for his privacy to be respected whilst he’s undergoing treatment and recovering.

“He leaves it to BAM to hold the fort for him and address whatever questions the media have. He will face the media when he’s ready.

“Chong Wei has done so much for the country.

“Let us all pray together for his speedy recovery and hopefully, he will get back on his feet as soon as possible,” he said.

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Sport , ng chin chai , bam , badminton , lee chong wei


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