SEPANG: Lee Chong Wei is skipping the China Masters in Changzhou from Sept 14-19, leaving Malaysia without a representative in the men’s singles competition this year.
Singles coach Misbun Sidek made the decision after discussing with Chong Wei and felt it would be advisable for his charge not to risk aggravating his back injury.
The world No. 1 complained of back pain after his third-round match against India’s Rajiv Ouseph at the world championships in Paris last Wednesday.
The strain proved to be too much for Chong Wei and he went on to suffer an unexpected defeat by former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia in the quarter-finals the following day.
“I want Chong Wei to have more time to recover fully as there are more important tournaments coming up (referring to the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in October and November respectively),” said Misbun, who returned home from Paris with the rest of the Malaysian team early yesterday morning.
“Chong Wei will have to seek treatment first with the medical expert. We will only know then how serious is his condition and whether he can resume full training. We consulted the doctor over there (Paris) and he said that Chong Wei has a back spasm injury.
“The China Masters is two weeks away. We have submitted his entry but I feel it is better for him not to compete.”
Chong Wei was to be the top seeded for the China Masters, which has attracted a star-studded cast. Newly-crowned world champion Chen Jin and Olympic champion Lin Dan will carry China’s hopes. Dane Peter Gade-Christensen, a semi-finalist in the world championships, is the only top ranked singles player not taking part.
Chong Wei was beaten by Lin Dan in the semi-finals of the China Masters last year.
World Championship silver medallists Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong will also skip the China Masters. They were also the top seeds.
Doubles chief coach Rexy Mainaky said that he wanted the world No. 1 men’s pair to recover and get back their match fitness.
“We also want them to work on strengthening certain areas of their game and not to exert them,” he said.
“They have to get ready for the New Delhi Commonwealth Games. Kien Keat-Boon Heong will not be going to China but they will compete in the Japan Open the following week.”
Kien Keat-Boon Heong have been given a one-week break from training and will be back on court next Monday.
With Danish top pair Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen and Indonesian Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan not entered for the China Masters, the men’s doubles title is expected to be a fight between South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung and China’s Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng, who won the world championship title for a third time last Sunday.