PETALING JAYA: National men’s singles shuttler Wong Choong Hann is craving for that winning feeling, again.
The seasoned campaigner has not won any international individual title since the 2003 Taiwan Open.
With his career coming to an end, he knows that time is running out for him to experience the euphoria of lifting the winner's trophy.
Choong Hann plans to give up the sport gradually after the Beijing Olympic Games in August.
Choong Hann will have seven chances to satisfy his craving as he will be down to compete in these tournaments – German Open (Feb 26-March 2), All-England (March 4-9), Swiss Open (March11-16), India Open (April 1-6), Asian Badminton Championships (April 15-20), Singapore Open (July 10-15) and the Indonesian Open (July 17-22).
His best chance, though, is in the German Open.
"This is my final playing year and it will be nice to have that winning feeling again" - WONG CHOONG HANN
In the seeding released by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Thursday, he is ranked third behind two Koreans – Park Sung-hwan and Lee Hyun-il.
“I will probably have a better shot at the German and India Opens. But I am not sure whether I will be going for the German Open.
“It will depend on my coach’s (Wong Tat Meng) decision. It will be too hectic for me as I will also be competing in the All-England and Swiss Open,” said Choong Hann.
“But yes, it has been quite long since I last won an individual title. Five years is a long time and I do not have much time left. Hopefully, I will be able to nail at least one title.”
Even if he fails to pull it off in the individual tournaments, he will still get a shot at achieving glory in the team event.
He will take part in the Thomas Cup Asian qualifying tournament in Ho Chi Minh City (Feb 19-24) and the Thomas Cup Finals (May 11-18).
For Choong Hann, helping Malaysia to clinch the Cup after a lapse of 16 years will definitely be more meaningful.
He is hoping to make amends after limping out of the court due to an Achilles tendon injury at the last edition of the Cup Finals in Tokyo in 2006.
“This is my final playing year and it will be nice to have that winning feeling again,” said Choong Hann, who is as good as assured of representing Malaysia at the Beijing Games.
The world No. 15 has not tasted success in team events since helping the men’s team win the SEA Games gold in Manila in 2005 and the mixed team gold at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.