Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei has encouraged his teammate to keep the team spirit high ahead of the 2018 Thomas Cup what will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 20 to May 27.
Lee, who is currently ranked World No. 6, admitted Denmark will be Malaysia’s main obstacle in the Group stage but the Malaysian team should not be afraid to take on the defending champions.
“Denmark is a very well balanced team. They have strong men’s singles players as well as strong men’s doubles. However, we should give our best when playing against them,” said Lee.
“We have pretty much confirmed that Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, and myself to be the top three men’s singles players, but we have yet to decide who will fill the reserve men’s singles spot.”
“Since we already know who we will play against, we should be able to make our best preparation against our opponents. I also urged my teammates to show high competition spirit in the Thomas Cup finals,” added Lee.
In addition to Denmark, Malaysia has been drawn alongside Russia and Algeria in the Group D of Thomas Cup Finals.
“We should not underestimate Russia and Algeria too, because all players need to remain focus on every match.”
Malaysia was defeated by Denmark in the semi-finals two years ago in the Kunshan, China, where Denmark ended up winning their history first ever Thomas Cup by outlasting Indonesia 3-2 in the final.
Meanwhile, Lee also stressed that it’s important for Malaysia to emerge as the group champions to get a more comfortable route to the semi-finals.
“There will be a draw after the group stage, and if we are the champion of the group, we will be drawn to face runners-up from other groups. That way, we have higher chances to advance to the semi-finals,” said Lee.
Malaysia last won the Thomas Cup in 1992 where they beat Indonesia 3-2 in a pulsating final.