Saturday February 2, 2013
Lee: Indonesian stint good preparation for team events
KUALA LUMPUR: There is a saying that “no man is an island”.
And world No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei is hoping that the participation of his younger compatriots in the Indonesia Super League, starting tomorrow, will teach them to be good team players.
Chong Wei and 20 other national players – 10 men and 10 women – left for Jakarta today to compete in the league.
The 30-year-old Chong Wei is hoping that the outing would strengthen Malaysia’s team morale, spirit and unity ahead of the Sudirman Cup, which will be held at the Putra Stadium from May 19-26, and next year’s Thomas Cup, which Malaysia last won in 1992.
Chong Wei is the star attraction of the Musica Champion’s club while the others will play under the Malaysia Tigers Badminton Club baner in the six-day competition.
The 10 players in the men’s team are Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Goh Soon Huat, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Teo Kok Siang.
The women’s team consist of Tee Jing Yi, Lydia Cheah, Sonia Cheah, Yang Li Lian, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Choo, Marylen Ng Poau Leng-Shevon Lai Jemie, Vivian Hoo-Erica Khoo Pei Shan.
The format is similar to the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup where a tie is decided over five matches – three singles and two doubles.
“It’s great that I’m not the only one to play in this league. They have allowed Malaysia to send two teams – men’s and women’s.
“All 20 of them are our next echelon of players and this is a great platform for them to have a feel of a team event,” said Chong Wei.
“The Indonesia Super League is of high quality. I’ve played there before.
“This time they’ve invited many other top foreign players, including Kenichi Tago (Japan), Lee Hyun-il (South Korea) and Nguyen Tien Minh (Vietnam).
“Our youngsters should use this platform as preparation for the Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup.
“This is one of the best places to learn.”
The other top names include Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand, Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong. Two clubs – Tonami and Unisys – are represented by Japan’s men’s shuttlers.
In the women’s competition, Djarum probably will be the strongest as they have Germany’s Juliane Schenk and reigning Malaysian Open champion Tai Tzu-ying in their ranks.
Two clubs – Renesas and Unisys – are represented by Japanese shuttlers while Korean Ginseng will be powered by Bae Sung-jee.
“The league in Indonesia is popular and draws top names because it offers good money. I will be playing for Musica in only two matches this season. They offer US$30,000 per win,” said Chong Wei, who’ll be facing Daren in his first match.
Chong Wei, who will also play in this year’s China League in September, has decided not to compete in the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) in June and may skip the Axiata Cup so as to focus on the World Championships in Guangzhou in August.
For the record, the team will be accompanied by singles and doubles coaches Hendrawan and Paulus Firman.
Group A: Jaya Raya, Musica Champion, SGS PLN, Tonami Badminton, Malaysia Tigers Badminton. Group B: Jaya Raya Suryanaga, Mutiara Bandung, Djarum. Tangkas Specs, Unisys Badminton.
Group A: Jaya Raya, Mutiara Bandung, Unisys Badminton, Malaysia Tigers Badminton. Group B: Jaya Raya Suryanaga, Djarum, Korean Ginseng Corporation, Renesas Badminton.