BUKIT JALIL: If there is one person to break Lee Chong Wei’s more than five-year reign as the world No. 1 player, it has to be Chen Long of China this year.
That’s the belief of Denmark’s top player Jan O Jorgensen, who is here for the Maybank Malaysian Open starting on Wednesday at Putra Stadium.
“I may be currently ranked third in the world but I do not see myself breaking Chong Wei’s reign in the near future,” said the 26-year-old Jorgensen, who has won only two Super Series titles – the 2010 Denmark Open and last year’s French Open.
“For now, Chong Wei and Chen Long are in a different league all together. They are able to raise the level of badminton to a different level when they face-off.”
“I do not dare put myself in that league to threaten Chong Wei’s reign – just yet. For now, it is Chen Long’s role.”
On Sunday, world No. 2 Chen Long showed that he is set to be a constant pain for Chong Wei this year when he defeated the Malaysian 21-14, 21-15 in the men’s singles final of the Korean Open in Seoul.
And Chong Wei has promised to exact sweet revenge when the duo resume their rivalry at the Malaysian Open this week.
Chong Wei took over the world No. 1 spot after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and has held on to it except for a brief two weeks during the 2012 London Olympic Games when Lin Dan of China dislodged him before losing his ground again.
Jorgensen however, warned that the chasing pack would not lie idle but would be constantly keeping the pressure on the two top players this year.
The others in the same class with him are Kenichi Tago of Japan, Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh, and China’s Du Pengyu and Wang Zhengming.
“I have done okay to break into the world’s top five and I intend to stay there and I hope to win more Super Series titles but for now, all focus is on the World Championships, which will be hosted in Copenhagen. We want to do well at home,” said Jorgensen.
As for the Malaysian Open, the tattoo-loving Dane, hopes to perform much better than his quarter-final finish at the Korean Open.
“I was in Malaysia last month (for the BWF World Super Series Finals) but when I got back home, I suffered foot and stomach infections,” he said.
“I even skipped the Copenhagen Masters. Because of that, I lacked practice and had to battle my way to the Korean Open quarter-finals. Hopefully, it will be a better outcome this time.” added Jorgensen, who will take on Indonesia’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka in the opening round tomorrow.
He is also in the same half as top seed Chong Wei, Boonsak, Du Pengyu and Liew Daren of Malaysia.