KUALA LUMPUR: National singles shuttler Chong Wei Feng is refreshed and ready to step up to the plate after a pep talk by world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and a warm gathering among the singles players during the Chinese New Year season.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei spent some time advising and encouraging Wei Feng after the latter’s demoralising first round defeats at the Korean and Malaysian Opens last month.
Chong Wei even hosted a special dinner for all the singles players during the Chinese New Year – treating them to good food and good fun. He even gave them gifts via a lucky draw.
Wei Feng is grateful to Chong Wei for trying lift the morale of his comrades in the men’s singles department.
“I was down after my recent defeats. The nation is looking for Chong Wei’s successor but I have failed to live up to expectations. All these put some pressure on me and, unfortunately, I could not deal with it. As a result, I did not play true to my form,” said Wei Feng.
“Chong Wei has been very encouraging. In fact, he is helping me a lot. He has been advising me and sharing his experiences with me. He has been down before ... he told what he did to come out of it.
“He told me that I had the right attitude and commitment in training ... what I need to do is show the same thing in tournaments. It feels good that Chong Wei understands my problems and is doing his best to motivate me.”
Wei Feng is also happy that Chong Wei even takes care of them off the court.
“He hosted a dinner for all the singles players during the Chinese New Year. We were able to talk and enjoy each other’s company in a more relaxed way. There is a close bond among us,” said Wei Feng.
With the good support given by the two-time Olympic Games silver medallist, the 26-year-old Wei Feng hopes to come good in the next two tournaments – German Open from Feb 25-March 2 and the All-England from March 4-9.
“I’m more motivated to make a breakthrough this year. After getting off to a wrong start (last month), I hope to give a more satisfactory performance in Europe and give some of the top players a run for their money,” he said.
For a start, a win against any of these players – Japan’s Kenichi Tago, Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen and China’s Wang Zhengming – will be an achievement.
“Chong Wei and Chen Long (of China) are a class above. Behind them is this chasing pack, comprising Tommy, Tago and Jan. I want to be able to beat these players consistently this year and make my first final appearance in a Superseries tournament,” said world No. 16 Wei Feng, who has yet to win any Open titles since making the senior ranks six years ago.