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.
MILTON Keynes-based Chris and Gabby Adcock will lead England’s top players straight into New Year action when they tackle the Victor Korea Open from tomorrow (Wednesday)
The Adcocks go into a big badminton year boosted by their rise to number five in the world on the back of their Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open Superseries triumph in November.
Now they head for Seoul for the opening event in the 2014-2017 BWF Superseries cycle under the circuit’s new title sponsors MetLife.
The Adcocks will be keen to maintain their world ranking to ensure a good seeding at the European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Championships, which all take place between April and August.
But first the focus is on the Korean tournament, followed a week later by the year’s first Premier Superseries event, the Maybank Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur. When they return home the Adcocks will turn their attention to the English National Championships in Milton Keynes in early February when they aim to recapture the mixed doubles title they won in 2012.