Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei was willing to ‘sacrifice’ high hopes for winning the World Championship title in Nanjing, China in July, instead, he would rather focus on the 18th Asian Games and commonly known as Jakarta Palembang 2018, which scheduled to be held from 18 August to 2 September in Indonesia.
Lee Chong Wei’s coach, Hendrawan told reporters that compared to the World Championships that will be held on a yearly basis, the quadrennial Asian Games seemed more important as it’s going to be Lee’s last appearance on the event.
“From the beginning of the year, Chong Wei already set his main focus for this year to be the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. The Commonwealth Games have ended, and now we are focusing on the Asian Games,” said Hendrawan.
“Chong Wei will play in the World Championships but we are not going to put too much hope on it as it is a yearly event and he will have another shot at it next year, while it’s hard to wait for another four years for the Asian Games,” added Hendrawan.
However, Hendrawan did raised concern about the World No. 7’s physical fitness since the Asian Games will take place 10 days after the World Championship (July 30 to August 5).
“Chong Wei only has short period of rest to get ready for the Asian Games after the World Championship. That’s why, we are treating Asian Games as our main target … it’s challenging but I believe Chong Wei can do it.”
Before the World Championships, Lee Chong Wei also set to play at the Malaysia Open (June 26 to July 1) and Indonesia Open (July 3 to July 8).
Despite being 36 years old, Lee is still physically fit and has been in top form especially he was able to defeat World Champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in last week’s Thomas Cup final in Bangkok during the last Group D tie.
“Chong Wei still has the competitive fire to challenge other players for badminton supremacy and I believe he can do that,”
“His high spirit will overcome all things,” said Hendrawan.