Wednesday January 9, 2013
Dengue fever cuts short Chun Seangís joy
KUALA LUMPUR: Just one week into the New Year and former international menís singles shuttler Tan Chun Seang (pic) has already experienced both the high and the low.
The year began with the good news that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have lifted his two-year ban from competing in all the tournaments in Asia. (The ban was due to end only in June.)
This allowed the 26-year-old to register for the Malaysian Open, to be held at the Putra Stadium from Jan 16-20.
But his joy was shortlived. Two days ago, he was admitted to the hospital with dengue fever. This has left his participation in the home tournament hanging in the balance.
Prior to the rise of his peers Ė Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif Ė Chun Seang was the countryís top back-up shuttler.
Injuries, however, hampered his progress. In 2011, he was hit with a two-year ban when he wanted to leave the national team to become a professional player without the approval of the BAM.
ďIím experiencing mixed emotions right now,Ē said Chun Seang.
ďIím happy that BAM have lifted the ban earlier than expected. I had written an appeal letter to BAM to make an exception for me to play in the Malaysian Open ... instead they graciously lifted the ban completely.
ďItís unfortunate that Iím down with dengue fever. Iím in stable condition but unsure if Iíll be in good form to play in the Malaysian Open.Ē
In the Malaysian Open, Chun Seang has been drawn to play fifth seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong in the first round.
He is also in the same quarter as top seed and defending champion Lee Chong Wei.
If he canít compete in the Malaysian Open, Chun Seang will focus on preparing the Austrian team for the Sudirman Cup, which will be played at the same venue from May 19-26. Heís the assistant coach to the Austrian team.
ďAfter the Sudirman Cup, Iíll stay back here and try to re-invent my badminton career,Ē he said.
Asked if he was still keen to regain his place in the national team, Chun Seang said: ďOf course. Iíll be happy if Malaysia want me to play for them again ... but I think theyíd rather invest on younger players.Ē