Saturday February 2, 2013
Whatís all the fuss about Lin Dan?
By RAJES PAUL
KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is in no mood to find out the reasons behind Lin Danís continued absence from the international scene.
Heíd rather let sleeping dogs lie.
The China ace has not taken part in any tournament since defeating Chong Wei in the menís singles final of the London Olympic Games in August.
ďI have no comment on this matter. He must have his own reasons for skipping the tournaments. Iíd rather stay focused on my own game,Ē Chong Wei said after a training session at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Danís name was removed from the list just before the closing date for the All-England ended on Thursday Ė sparking a series of rumours, including being ill-prepared and souring his relationship with the China BA.
The All-England, the oldest badminton tournament, will be held from March 5-10 in Birmingham.
It will still boast a strong field, including Lin Danís younger team-mates Ė Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Chen Jin, Wang Zhengming, Gao Huan and Chen Yuekun.
Asked if it would be easier for him to win his third All-England title without Lin Dan in the fray, Chong Wei said that he would never take any tournament, or opponent, lightly.
ďThereíll be other regulars Ė players I am familiar with. Itís important to be ready against anyone at any time,Ē said Chong Wei, who won the All-England titles in 2010 and 2011.
In the 100th edition of the All-England in 2010, he defeated a stubborn Kenichi Tago of Japan in the final. In 2011, he showed his class with a straight-game win over Lin Dan in the final to prove that he can beat his nemesis in a major tournament.
The 30-year-old Chong Wei agreed that expectations would be higher on him to win the All-England title, especially after bagging the seasonís first two tournaments Ė Korean Open and Malaysian Open.
ďI didnít feel my age during those two tournaments. I felt like a 26-year-old. Iím looking forward to another good year,Ē he quipped.
Chong Wei, however, promised not to rest on his laurels.
ďI am flying off to Jakarta tomorrow (today). Iíll play two matches Ė on Sunday and Monday. Iíll be back home on Tuesday. I donít want to overstrain myself,Ē said Chong Wei, who will play for the Musica Champion club owned by former world champion Hariyanto Arbi.
ďIíve been given five daysí break for Chinese New Year. But Iíll get down to doing some light training after just two days. I can already picture all the good food. I donít want to gain weight.
ďThis year, Iíll celebrate Chinese New Year with my wife (Wong Mew Choo) here in Kuala Lumpur.
ďYes, it will be different as Iíll be celebrating it as a husband and a father-to-be.
ďAnd, Iíll also have to give out ang pows for the first time,Ē added Chong Wei with a hearty laugh.
Chong Wei and Mew Choo are expecting their first child in May.