Lee Chong Wei would rather pay the fine than play in 12 BWF tournaments

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Lee Chong Wei and other top players are dissatisfied with BWF's crammed 2018 calendar. (photo: AP)
Lee Chong Wei and other top players are dissatisfied with BWF's crammed 2018 calendar. (photo: AP)

Kuala Lumpur: Instead of playing for a ‘cramped 2018 schedule’ from Badminton World Federation (BWF) which would force the world’s top shuttlers to play at least a dozen tournaments in a year or face a stiff fine if they fail to comply, the World No. 2 men’s singles player Lee Chong Wei is considering skipping some tournaments and paying the fine.

The Malaysian badminton superstar told reporters that his main focus this year would be the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Thomas Cup, Asian Games and All England. Given his age, playing in too many tournaments in a year would take a physical toll on the body.

“I am going to talk to Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), and I will pay fine if I really have to. I am 35 not 25 anymore, I’ll need to plan the tournaments carefully,” said Lee.

Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan, Chen Long, and former World No. 1 Son Wan Ho suffered early exits in the first round of Malaysia Masters on Wednesday. Both Lee and Lin agreed that players would rather focus on the major tournaments and could not commit fully to other tournaments they were forced to participate or would face penalty.

Meanwhile, World No. 1 men’s singles player Viktor Axelsen also slammed the new schedule imposed by BWF.

“There are several tournaments in a row this month, and too many tournaments would disrupt the fitness of players,” said Axelsen.

“Frankly, the 3 tournaments in January are not that important, I wish I could have more time to train in January, but instead, I have to participate in 3 consecutive tournaments in the early 2018,” added Axelsen.

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