Kuala Lumpur: As he looks for his first ever World Championships title, World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei remains no certainty to play the 2018 World Championships that will kick off on July 30th in Nanjing, China.
With only seven days left before the world meet, Malaysian media has reported that the former World No. 1 has not showed up for practice at the Badminton Academy Malaysia in Bukit Kiara. Reporters contacted him last Wednesday as they were told he was still resting at home and did not undergo training, which could jeopardize his quest for the World Championships title.
Speculation swirls over Lee’s possible fatigue from playing in two consecutive tournaments within two weeks, at both the Malaysia Open and the Indonesia Open.
At the Malaysia Open, he won his 12th title by defeating Japanese star Kento Momota in the final while Indonesia Open saw him bowed out in the semi-final following loss in the hands of the same opponent.
When speaking to Malaysian reporters last Wednesday, Lee did not show any signs of pulling out of the world meet, instead, he was determined to give his best shot, especially when he has been drawn to meet Frenchman Brice Leverdez in the first round. Leverdez defeated Lee in the first round of 2017 World Championships.
It’s completely understandable if he chose to withdraw from the World Championships to give his full focus for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, which will start 10 days after the World Championship.
Considering he is 36-year-old now, it’s going to be difficult physically for Lee Chong Wei to play in two big tournaments within a short time span.
In fact, since the beginning of this year, Lee has publicly acknowledged that his major focus for this year would be the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games that was held at the Gold Coast, Australia, Lee defeated Kidambi Srikanth in the final to win the men’s gold. It’s going to be a fantastic achievement if Lee could realize his dream of winning a gold at the quadrennial Asian Games, which is second in size only to the Summer Olympics.