NATIONAL singles coach Misbun Sidek wants Lee Chong Wei to stop worrying about China’s Olympic champion Lin Dan but concentrate on raising his own performance in the World Championships which begin in Hyderabad, India, tomorrow.
Misbun feels Chong Wei has maintained consistency throughout the year but needs to produce a special performance if he wants to win the World Championship title.
Chong Wei, the top seed, has a relatively easy path to the semi-finals where the showdown with Lin Dan is drawn to take place.
The Malaysian is understandably worried as not only is Lin Dan a two-time world champion but also enjoys a better record in the head-to-heads.
Misbun, however, said Lin Dan is only part of the equation as Chong Wei has to beat several players to become the world champion.
"Chong Wei doesn’t have to worry about Lin Dan but about his own form. Becoming a world champion is the highest recognition for a shuttler after the Olympics and to achieve this, Chong Wei must be prepared to face anyone," said Misbun at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before leaving for Hyderabad on Friday.
"He has been consistent and on paper, he shouldn’t have any problems until the semi-finals but he should not under-estimate his earlier opponents.
"It is every player’s desire to become the world champion and Chong Wei must raise his level in Hyderabad if he wants to go all the way.
"What is important is that he must have a strategy for every opponent. There is also no assurance that the Chong Wei-Lin Dan semi-final will even materialise."
Despite two tricky opponents waiting to spoil Chong Wei’s party, the 27-year-old is not expected to falter before the semi-finals.
Thailand Open champion Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam will provide an early test in the third round before a likely quarter-final clash against Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia, but Chong Wei’s current form should get him past both.
Lin Dan has not been the same player since winning the Olympic gold last year and with two world titles under his belt, it remains to be seen if he is determined to create history as the first player to win a hat-trick.
Lin Dan has a tricky second round match against compatriot Bao Chunlai before playing third seeded veteran Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark in the last eight.