Sunday February 24, 2013
Chong Wei aims to unearth another star in his mould
By RAJES PAUL
AMPANG: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is planning to host a nationwide junior tournament – the Lee Chong Wei Cup – to unearth another star in his mould.
The 30-year-old Chong Wei said the tournament would be held nationwide to give every junior in the country a chance to strut their stuff.
“It is my dream to see another Chong Wei groomed in this country before I retire. Together with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), I plan to host the Lee Chong Wei Cup,” said Chong Wei during his Chinese New Year open house in Ampang Jaya yesterday.
“This year is a hectic one for me as I have the Sudirman Cup (in May) and World Championships (in August) coming up. I do not want to rush into hosting it. It takes a lot of planning.
“It will be good if I can start it later this year or early next year. And I want it to be an annual affair.
“I want it to be held in every state. Currently, in our academy (at Bukit Jalil Sports School), there are not many singles players coming through and that is a real concern for me.”
Chong Wei has a good reason to be concerned.
China already have six top men’s singles players on the international stage. And five of them – Chen Long, Chen Jin, Du Pengyu, Wang Zhengming and Gao Huan – are competing in the All-England in Birmingham from March 5-10. The only absentee is two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, who is enjoying a short break.
“Besides me, two others – Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng – have improved. Then, there is Goh Soon Huat coming up. We need at least four good reliable players on the international stage. Only then can we match China,” said Chong Wei.
In the All-England, top seed Chong Wei have three Chinese youngsters - Zhengming, Pengyu and Gao Huan – in his top half of the draw.
If he gets past them, he may meet either second seed Chen Long or former world champion Chen Jin in the final.
“I withdrew from last year’s All-England final because of an injury (shoulder). Hopefully, I will be able to perform better this time. My preparations have been good. I still have another week to prepare for it,” said the 2010 and 2011 All-England champion.
When asked about his pregnant wife Wong Mew Choo, Chong Wei said: “She is doing fine. We are expecting a baby boy.”