Kuala Lumpur: After a one year absence from the Superseries, Lee Chong Wei will be participating in the Japan Open Superseries in Tokyo from Sept 8-13.
The previous Superseries he played was at the Indonesian Superseries in June last year, where he lost in a three-set thriller to Kenichi Tago of Japan in the semi-finals with 16-21, 21-15, 16-21 at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta.
After his suspension was lifted early May, Lee has been in strong form that saw him stayed undefeated at the Sudirman Cup, and claimed back to back titles at the US Open and Canada Open in June. His world rankings has skyrocketed over the past three months, jumping from No. 180 to No. 45, which made him eligible to compete in the Japan Open Superseries.
“It’s really excited to be able to play in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) premier tournament series again. I’m really looking forward to the Japan Open,” said Chong Wei.
Lee Chong Wei defeated Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-14, 21-12 to nail his fifth Japan Open title in Tokyo, June last year.
But first things first, for now, Lee has to remain focused on the World Championships, that will be held in Jakarta from Aug 10-16. This year, the situation at the world meet is different for the Malaysian superstar. He goes into the World Championships unseeded for the first time ever.
A change in the usual scenario may prove to be good for unseeded Lee who isn’t considered among the favorites for the event because of his ranking and his long absence from the game. This may lift the weight of his shoulders.
Lee was the runner-up in the last three editions of the World Championships, losing to Lin Dan at the 2011, and 2013 editions. He lost to defending champion Chen Long last year, but the result was later disqualified after Lee was tested positive for prohibited substances. Nevertheless, BWF doping panel has cleared him on April 27 this year, finding that the violation was unintentional.