Lee Chong Wei bids for fifth All England title in Birmingham

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Lee Chong Wei could regain World No. 1 ranking if he wins the 2018 All England title. (photo: AP)
Lee Chong Wei could regain World No. 1 ranking if he wins the 2018 All England title. (photo: AP)

Birmingham: The year’s All England will take place at Arena Birmingham in England from March 14 to March 18 and offers a total prize money of USD $1,000,000.

Malaysia’s badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei will start as favorite in Birmingham, where he will bid for his fifth men’s singles title. With the withdrawal of World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, the No. 2 seed Lee is now the highest ranked men’s singles player in the tournament.

Lee, who is ranked World No. 2, has the chance to create history in this year’s All England to become the only Malaysian player to have ever won the prestigious championship for five-times. Lee had won the tournament in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2017.

Nevertheless, when speaking to Malaysian media, the 36-year-old said he didn’t focus too much about making the history but instead to be ready to play every opponent seriously.

“Every player wants to win the All England, and I do realize that if I win this year’s edition, I will be most successful Malaysian player to ever played in All England,” said Lee.

“However, I do not want to think too far ahead because what’s most important to me is my own preparation. I want to enjoy every match I play in England,” added Lee.

“Right now, I am happy with my condition because although I am already 36 years old but I’m still on the badminton court and fighting for Malaysia,” said Lee who will play Brazilian Ygor Coelho in the opener.

After winning the last year’s All England, Lee Chong Wei managed to match Wong Peng Soon (1950, 1951, 1952, 1955) and Datuk Eddy Choong’s (1953, 1954, 1956, 1957) record where each of them had won four All England men’s single title during the 50’s.

Lee is expected to meet Danish player Jan O Jorgensen in the second round before playing his nemesis Lin Dan of China in the quarter-finals.

The All England Open Badminton Championships is the world’s oldest badminton tournament, held annually in England. The controversial new service rule where the shuttlecock must be below 1.15m from the surface of the court at the moment the racket hits the shuttlecock will be used at the tournament, and for sure we are going to see a lot of unhappy reactions from the players in regard to this rule at the All England.

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