KUALA LUMPUR: It has been six days since world No. 1 singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei left Malaysia and he is missing his three-month-old son Kingston.
“I miss holding him and seeing his cute face ... Thanks to the social media platforms, I get to see him daily on FaceTime. My wife (Wong Mew Choo) keeps me updated too and that is great,” said Chong Wei when contacted in Hong Kong yesterday.
Chong Wei and 21 other Malaysian shuttlers are in Hong Kong for a 10-day final phase of centralised training as part of their preparations for the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, from Aug 5-11.
The team consisting of Chong Wei, Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Goh Liu Ying-Lim Yin Loo, Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho, Chan Peng Soon, Ong Jian Guo and Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing will leave for Guangzhou on Saturday.
Chong Wei said he had done well to balance between his duties as a father and a shuttler over the last three months.
“But I’m grateful to Mew Choo for taking some of the responsibilities off my shoulder.
“I am more mature now, thanks to fatherhood. I have enjoyed every minute of my time with Kingston although sometimes I have to be away from home.
“Honestly, I have not stayed up all night to care for my child. Mew Choo handles that part. She wants me to have a good rest after a hard’s day training and focus on the World Championships. In fact, I’m now sleeping in a different room when I’m at home.
“It is nice to see him (Kingston) via face time daily although we are far apart ... I can’t wait to hear him utter his first words ... maybe by then, I would have been a world champion,” said Chong Wei in a jest.
Realistically, Chong Wei has the best chance of becoming the country’s first world badminton champion. But he knows that it will not be an easy task, having failed in six previous attempts.
Chong Wei’s best effort to date was at Wembley in 2011. Then, he went down fighting 21-15, 10-21, 19-21 to Lin Dan of China in the final.
Lin Dan, the reigning Olympic champion, will also be in Guangzhou. Barring any upsets, they are expected to clash in the final again.