SUPER SERIES FINALS: RM16,000 fine if Chong Wei skips season ender
LEE Chong Wei, if given a choice, would have skipped the Super Series Finals in Shenzhen which begin on Wednesday as he wants to put in some quality preparation to retain the Korea Open and Malaysia Open titles in January.
Chong Wei, seeking his fourth Super Series Finals title, said the US$5,250 (RM16,000) fine imposed on players who withdraw was the reason he wanted to compete in Shenzhen although he has been struggling to get sufficient training since his wedding last month.
China's Chen Long will be Chong Wei's only threat in the Super Series Finals but the former may have a slight edge after having beaten the World No 1 in the Hong Kong Open a fortnight ago.
"It has been a long season with so many tournaments. Wedding preparations had also taken a lot of my time last month and I am still not fully prepared going into a tournament like the Super Series Finals," said Chong Wei.
"I am just hoping to complete the Super Series Finals. I am slightly better focused compared to the Hong Kong Open but I am not thinking too much about the Super Series Finals.
"If there was an opportunity, I would skip the event to concentrate on preparing for the Korea Open and Malaysia Open where I want to defend the titles.
"It will be extremely cold in Korea and the following week I have to play in Malaysia, so I need to be better prepared. Anyway, I'll do my best in Shenzhen."
Liew Daren is the other player who has qualified for the men's singles and the absence of top players opens the way for him to advance to the last four.
Men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong will be facing a difficult time as Olympic champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, despite finishing ninth in the Super Series standings, have also qualified following the withdrawal of Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata of Japan.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong are in danger of even not making the semi-finals as they could be in the same group as Cai Yun-Haifeng, Kim Ki Jung-Kim Sa Rang of South Korea and Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.
Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How are the other qualifiers in the men's doubles while Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying have qualified for the mixed doubles.