KUALA LUMPUR: It’s time to stop pressuring shuttler Lee Chong Wei.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria has advised everyone to stop questioning Chong Wei as to when he will make his return to the court.
Chong Wei has withdrawn from the Malaysian Open from April 2-7 after his doctor told him “not to put his body under undue stress” during his recent visit to Taiwan.
Now, everyone is waiting to see whether he will participate in the Sudirman Cup in Nanning, China, from May 19-26.
The three-time Olympic Games silver medallist is recovering from nose cancer and has been out of competition since losing to Kento Momota of Japan in the semi-finals of the Indonesian Open in July last year.
“I would like to advise all to give him space and time.
“He will come back when he is ready.
“We don’t want to pressure him by persistently asking if he can play at this tournament or that,” said Norza.
“That is undue pressure for him, I think it’s medically and morally not good for him.
“He told me that everyone keeps asking him when he’s making a return ... I’m just asking all to give him the space. Let him just focus on training by himself.”
It will be timely if he returns at the Sudirman Cup as it is the first major tournament that offers ranking points to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Malaysia are drawn with 10-time winners China and India in Group D.
Norza said Chong Wei has done enough for the country and the BAM will continue to look at improving the standard of their younger players.
“We’ve to move on because we want to put our young players under the spotlight as they are the future, we’ll give them all the support that they need,” said Norza.
National head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek is happy to see Chong Wei making steady progress in training.
From the way he expresses himself on the court, we can see that he really wants to play but we’ll not rush him,” said Misbun.
“He has met with the doctor and the feedback is good. Right now, he just wants to focus on training and regaining his fitness, and improving the technical, tactical, mental aspects of his game. It’ll be a gradual process.”