Monday, May 30, 2011

Chong Wei out of SEA Games, wants youngsters to take up challenge

KUALA LUMPUR: World No 1 Lee Chong Wei has decided not to take part in the SEA Games to give the youngsters a chance to step up.

He feels that the biennial Games in Indonesia in November will be a good platform for them to have a feel of playing in a team event.

Chong Wei, who returned home on Saturday from Qingdao after accomplishing his job to win all his matches in the Sudirman Cup world mixed team championships, is quite concerned with Malaysia’s lack of depth in team events.

And the 29-year-old is single-minded in doing his part to inspire the youngsters.
“We did reasonably well in the Sudirman Cup. We even took South Korea to the distance before losing 2-3 in the quarter-finals. We put up a good fight,” said Chong Wei.

“For some of the senior players, it might have been the last Sudirman Cup outing for them. We must find youngsters to take over. It is a different feeling playing in a team event compared to an individual event.
“It is best that I step out of the SEA Games squad. I hope the youngsters will use the opportunity to strut their stuff and gain as much experience as possible.

“We have an important team event next year – the Thomas Cup Finals. But I cannot put my finger on the second and third singles player in the team. We need to act fast.”

The other players in the national team are Tan Chun Seang, Liew Daren, Chan Kwong Beng, Chong Wei Feng, Goh Soon Huat, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and a host of others under the care of coach Hendrawan. But they are way behind in standard compared to Chong Wei.

On the outing in the Sudirman Cup, skipper Chong Wei was pleased with the high level of commitment shown by his team-mates.

“We knew that the country depended on me and Koo (Kien Keat)-Tan (Boon Heong) to deliver the goods. But the rest of the team members showed commendable team spirit,” he said.

”Despite their difficult condition, (Wong) Pei Tty-Chin (Eei Hui) played all out. (Chan) Peng-Soon-(Goh) Liu Ying gained a lot of experience. It was heartwarming to see all these.

“The face of the team will change at the next Sudirman Cup as Pei Tty-Eei Hui and I will not be in the team.
“But I hope the players will show the same team spirit.”
On his next plan, Chong Wei said that he would shift his focus to his preparation for the world championships, which will be held in London from Aug 8-14.

And to avoid a burnout and the danger of peaking too early, Chong Wei has decided to be selective in the tournament he competes in prior to the championships.
“There are two Super Series events in Singapore and Indonesia before the world championships and I will go for one – to defend the title in Indonesia,” he said.

“I am very focused on doing well in the world championships this year. I do not want to face anymore disappointments as this could be my last chance to become a world champion.”
Malaysia have yet to win a world championship title.

Meanwhile, Chong Wei did his part to fan the fire among the youths when he attended a massive One Million Youth Gathering event yesterday in Putrajaya in conjunction with the National Youth Day.

He was a special guest at the Proton booth and besides signing autographs and taking photos with fans, he also did his part as a perfect role model for the younger generation by giving them advice and also words of encouragement.


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