Chong Wei eyes world title, Thomas Cup

KUCHING: World number one and All-England champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei is determined to capture the World Series Championship title this year and answer the Prime Minister’s call to bring the Thomas Cup back to Malaysia.

DYNAMIC DUO: Chong Wei (left) and coach Datuk Misbun Sidek at the  launching of Astro Arena at Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur. • Photo by Jeffery Mostapa

DYNAMIC DUO: Chong Wei (left) and coach Datuk Misbun Sidek at the launching of Astro Arena at Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur. • Photo by Jeffery Mostapa

“My performance in Birmingham (All-England title) was the best in my career but the target now is to capture the World Championship title … that is my aim,” he told The Borneo Post during the launching of Astro Arena at Wisma OCM, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday.

Chong Wei said he also longed to help Malaysia regain the Thomas Cup.

“Winning back this prestigious trophy is something special for the people of Malaysia. I will be supporting the team all the way to achieve it.”

He revealed he would be focusing more on tournaments where he had a chance of winning.

“I’m just human. I cannot join all tournaments and circuits – it’s good to be at this stage but I always remind myself to be cautious.”

Chong Wei did not take a long break after the All-England as he had already resumed training.

“Just to improve my weaknesses,” he said.

He did not deny facing more pressure now as he had to defend the All-England title, admitting that the rise of young talents could pose a threat to him.

“When you reach this level, you are definitely concerned about your opponents’ progress. I must continue working hard to improve and stay at the highest level.”

He singled out the likes of Kenichi Tago, the young Japanese player whom he beat in the All-England finals, as the new generation of players to be reckoned with.

“Player like Kenichi is a rising star. He is fast and deadly at the net. I respect him. He will be stronger in the coming months. I take note on this.”

Meanwhile Chong Wei’s coach, Datuk Misbun Sidek, said the All-England champion would get better.

“He just succeeded in one of the toughest assignments (All-England). Maybe, I will give him time to rest and talk about the tactical stuff before we move on. I don’t simply set targets for him.”

Misbun described Chong Wei’s form as “unbelievable” as not many players could win three championships in a row.

“They could skip one tournament or lose another. But he did it … his mental strength is excellent,” said Misbun who guided Chong Wei to victories in the Malaysia Open, the Korean Open and the All-England.

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