20 Dec 2006
LEE Chong Wei, despite carrying a hairline fracture on his ankle, has decided to compete in the Kuala Lumpur Open badminton championships beginning at the KLBA Stadium today.
This is because its the only way he can get a shot at a fifth consecutive national title next year.
Chong Wei, who suffered the injury during a road accident in November, played through the injury at the Doha Asian Games and still managed to return with a bronze in the mens team and mens singles.
The injury was initially thought to be serious and there were fears that Chong Wei may have to undergo surgery, but it is not the case anymore.
Chong Wei needs to reach, at least, the final of the KL Open to qualify for the National Grand Prix Finals after having missed the first leg the Malacca Open in July due to international duties.
Chong Wei became the only third player to win four consecutive mens singles crowns after Misbun Sidek and Foo Kok Keong when he achieved the feat in Kota Kinabalu last year and he can go one better by qualifying for the GP finals in Kuala Terengganu on Feb 8-11.
"Although there is pain, I cannot afford to miss the event. I cannot bear the thought of not defending my national crown," said Chong Wei.
"It may only be the local crown but will be a satisfying achievement for me if I can defend the title again.
Chong Wei has remained undefeated in local tournaments since winning his first national title in 2003.