Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) acting president Tan Sri Al-Amin Abd Majid remained confident that national ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei will bounce back to his smashing form and win the 2016 Malaysia Open.
Al-Amin believes Chong Wei, the 10-time Malaysia Open champion, will wrest back the title to ensure a better seeding for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August.
“Chong Wei has won the title for an unprecedented 10 times, nobody has done that kind of achievement. Olympics qualification will end at the end of April, so what is important for him is to be ranked among the top four.
“That will able him to be seeded in men’s singles at Rio. He also had performed well in our backyard and I hope he will continue the good run,” he said while announcing a three-year RM24 million partnership with Celcom Axiata Bhd, here today.
Chong Wei who first won the Malaysia Open in 2004, retained the title in 2005 and 2006 but lost the 2007 title to Peter Gade of Denmark before coming back to clinch the title from 2008 to 2014.
He missed the tournament last year due to a doping suspension by the Badminton World Federation, allowing the title to be won by China’s Chen Long.
Al-Amin also congratulated the national mixed doubles pair Goh Liu Ying/Chan Peng Soon who emerged champions in the 2016 New Zealand Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton tournament yesterday.
“This is part of our (BAM) programme to ensure the pair gets better position to Rio. We are trying to make them ranked among the top eight in the world to be seeded in Rio and have a better chance of avoiding top pairs in the early rounds,” he said.
Through the signing of the sponsorship deal, Celcom Axiata Bhd would replace Maybank as the title sponsor for the 2016 Malaysian Open since Maybank had decided to part ways with BAM last year after coming on court in 2011.