Sunday January 13, 2013
Wei Feng goes into home meet with highest ever ranking
KUALA LUMPUR: Men’s singles back-up shuttler Chong Wei Feng will go into the Maybank Malaysian Open Super Series at the Putra Stadium on Wednesday as a top 20 player for the first time in his career.
Wei Feng, who moved up two rungs to 19th in the world on Thursday, plans to mark his breakthrough with a memorable outing in his home tournament.
For a start, he’s eyeing revenge against Kenichi Tago of Japan in the opening round.
“I’ve beaten Tago once, but lost to him in our last two meetings. It’s time to set the record straight,” said Wei Feng.
The left-hander defeated the 2010 All-England runner-up for the first time at the Japan Open last year but the Japanese clinched straight-game victories at the French and Hong Kong Opens .
“My best result in our home tournament was a quarter-final finish in 2010. Hopefully, I can justify my new world ranking with a win over Tago.
“It’ll be tough but I hope the home fans will spur me on,” he said.
But first Wei Feng must recover physically from his energy-sapping outing at the ongoing Korean Open.
The 24-year-old Wei Feng did well to reach the quarter-finals after beating China’s Gao Huan 14-21, 21-18, 21-15 in one hour and 14 minutes on Thursday.
A day later, however, the tired Wei Feng went down 5-21, 21-17, 15-21 to Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong.
“I need to be physically stronger to give a more solid showing,” admitted Wei Feng.
Tago, however, fared worse in Seoul when he suffered a first round loss to Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen.
A win over the second-seeded Japanese in the Malaysian Open will surely give Wei Feng a timely boost.
Besides Wei Feng, the other Malaysian singles shuttlers in the main draw are defending champion Lee Chong Wei, Liew Daren, Tan Chun Seang and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.