The rivalry between between world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan has been called the greatest rivalry in badminton history. But almost simultaneously another Chinese shuttler — Chen Long has been inching closer to creating the same kind of contest with these 2 players.
Chong Wei's coach, Rashid Sidek when he was interviewed by reporters few weeks ago, he was asked about how can Chong Wei maintain his physical and mental toughness at such a high level for such a long time, Rashid said:
"Focus, Chong Wei plays in lot of tournaments each year. We try to help him to maintain his standards. Eventhough he plays in a lot of tournaments, but his main target is world championships and Rio Olympics Games, where he has never won before."
"He is going to be 33 at Rio Olympics. If he remains injury-free, he will go for the Olympics; but in the short-term, his desire to conquer world championships could keep him going. It is the motivating thing. In long term, we still have time to prepare for Olympics," said Rashid.
How does Lee manages his heavy training routine?
Sidek said: "Chong Wei is a champion, and he trains like a champion. He works very hard and extremely disciplined. He is very serious of his fitness. He is very talented and self-motivated. He is willing to go extra miles for everything he does."
Chen Long is currently the world No. 2, what do you think about Chen Long's game?
"He is a very fit player. He is a defensive player and likes to plays long rallies. It's difficult to beat him if the shuttle is slow. At All England and India Open, Chong Wei just tried his best."
How about Chong Wei's fiercest rival, Lin Dan?
Rashid said, "Lin Dan is psychologically very strong player. If you look at the numbers, they both have almost the same set of skills and strokes. Frankly, there is a big gap in the badminton world after Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei. It's hard to reach Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan's levels, these 2 players have dominated the sport of badminton for the past 10 years, and are still going strong. Chen Long is catching up, but he needs more time."