Wednesday March 13, 2013
Under-pressure Wei Feng wiser after All-England flop
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: National elite shuttler Chong Wei Feng admitted that the pressure of trying to follow in the footsteps of team-mate and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is slowly getting to him.
But Wei Feng, who had a rather disappointing outing at the All-England in Birmingham last week, is not planning to succumb to that pressure.
The world No. 16 did not play up to expectations in Birmingham as he went down tamely to Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen in the opening round.
He was also a first round casualty in the Malaysian Open in January and his quarter-final appearance in the Korean Open a week prior now seemed like a distant memory.
With several young players such as Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki, India’s P. Kashyap, Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen and Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk showing rapid improvement of late, Wei Feng and the likes of Liew Daren and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif certainly has to deliver.
And the soft-spoken Wei Feng has indicated that he has learned from his defeat at the All-England.
“I’m definitely feeling the pressure especially since I didn’t play well at all,” said Wei Feng.
“But playing under pressure works well for me because it makes me more focussed and I believe that I am mentally ready to deal with it.”
The 26-year-old Kedahan also added that he is still working on the physical side of his game and it is showing improvement, despite the insipid defeat to Jorgensen.
“When it comes to the more physical players, I have a slight disadvantage. But I’m working to overcome that handicap and it’s showing positive results,” said Wei Feng.
“Right now the target for me is to do well in the Swiss Open (which started yesterday). I have a rather favourable draw and I just need to play my normal game in order to get the desired results.”
Wei Feng is seeded ninth in Basel and takes on Taiwan’s Wang Tzu Wei in the first round. He should have a fairly easy run to the third round where he will face his first real challenge, in the form of fifth seed Kashyap.
Besides Wei Feng, the other Malaysians in the fray are Daren, Arif, Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s qualifying matches, the mixed combinations of Tan Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo and Gan Teik Chai-Ng Hui Lin both cleared their first round matches.
Qualifying (First Round)
Mixed doubles: Tan Wee Kiong-Vivian Hoo bt Marcus Ellis-Alyssa Lim (Eng) 10-21, 21-18, 21-16; Gan Teik Chai-Ng Hui Lin bt Bodin Issara-Peeraya Munkitamorn (Tha) 21-14, 21-18.