KUALA LUMPUR: After a one-week break for the Chinese New Year, world No. 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei has resumed training at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara.
National singles coach Tey Seu Bock was as pleased as punch after observing Chong Wei’s attitude on the first few days of training.
And Seu Bock confidently declared that Chong Wei would be the favourite for the All-England in Birmingham from March 5-10 and that the Malaysian would remain unbeatable in the local badminton scene.
He gave the thumbs-up on Chong Wei’s serious attitude and discipline during training and he’s hoping that others like Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, will learn to adopt the same outlook.
Out of the three, only Daren had beaten Chong Wei once – at the Indonesian Super League in Jakarta in one of the ties before the Chinese New Year.
“Normally, a player will take it easy on the first few days after a long break but not Chong Wei. He ravages the court and has an unwavering focus,” said Seu Bock.
“Chong Wei is surely showing much greater maturity on court after his marriage. With this positive attitude going into the All-England, I would reckon that he will not make it easy on his opponents at all – despite hitting his 30s.”
Chong Wei won the prestigious All-England singles title in 2010 and 2011 but last year lost to Lin Dan of China in the final.
For this year’s edition, Lin Dan has skipped the tournament, leaving the job to spoil Chong Wei’s party to his younger comrades – second seed Chen Long and Du Pengyu.
“I do not see any of the local players overtaking Chong Wei as long as he is around. Their standard is still quite far behind,” said Seu Bock.
“In training, Daren, Wei Feng and Arif are still lagging. I wish they can push Chong Wei to the limit and not resign to the fact that they cannot get the better of him. They must try harder to give quality time during training.”
Currently, all singles players – elite and back-up are training together – and all three coaches Rashid Sidek, Seu Bock and Hendrawan are working together.
The back-up players are Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh Soon Huat, Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub, Loh Wei
Sheng, Goh Giap Chin, Tan Kian Meng and Choong Yee Han.
“Eventually, we hope the others will start winning titles as well,” added Seu Bock.
For the record, except for Chong Wei, all the other elite players will be competing in two tournaments in Europe. Daren, Wei Feng and Arif have also been entered for the Swiss Open from March 12-17 in Basel.