KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has had enough of being the sole flag bearer for Malaysian badminton on the international scene.
And on Friday, after reaching the men’s singles’ semi-finals of the Korean Open in Seoul, he issued a clarion call to all his team-mates – especially the younger ones – to wake up and step out of their comfort zone.
The 31-year-old Chong Wei bulldozed past a hapless Du Pengyu of China 21-9, 21-12 in just 35 minutes to set up a meeting with Japan’s Kenichi Tago in the semi-finals on Saturday.
He is the only Malaysian survivor in the season-opener after Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem went down with a whimper against top seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.
The Malaysians lost 10-21, 9-21 in just 31 minutes.
Two-time Olympic Games silver medallist Chong Wei said that it was time everyone stopped depending on him, starting with the Korean Open.
KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s doubles champion Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How will be fighting on two fronts when they start their campaign in the Korean Open on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the duo and compatriots Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem left for Seoul for the season opener of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Super Series.
The 24-year-old Wee Kiong said their opening round match would be “treacherous”.
“The weather in Seoul is below 13°C. It is really cold. On top of that, we have a tricky opening match against an upcoming pair from China (Kang Jun-Liu Cheng). We cannot take them lightly.
“We have to balance our act. We have to adapt to the cold condition and also stay on guard against the Chinese pair,” said Wee Kiong.