Home2017Chong Wei - Asia's badminton pride

Chong Wei – Asia’s badminton pride


His training discipline is second to none and so is his guts and determination to succeed even when the chips are down – and this is Lee Chong Wei who as a 34-year-old won his fourth Yonex All-England men's singles title in Birmingham last Sunday.

Not many had given him a chance…not when the trip was a last minute decision after he picked up an injury which seriously jeopardized his All-England hopes. 
The Malaysian injured his left knee after he slipped and took a nasty fall during training at the new Badminton Academy – a fall that nearly wrecked his hopes of competing in Birmingham.

But that fighting spirit once again showed in Chong Wei who was determined not to stay away from the most prestigious badminton tournament in the world. He made it to Birmingham against all odds.

With the early exit of Olympic champion Chen Long, who was knocked out in the second round by Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk and five-time world champion Lin Dan in the semi-finals by compatriot Shi Yuqi the Malaysian's task of winning the title became easier.
Chong Wei gladly grabbed the opportunity that came his way and he thrashed the young Shi Yuqi with a masterly display of confidence in his 21-12, 21-10 win at the Barclaycard Arena. The crowd saluted him.

Then he surprised the crowd and his fans with a "I will be back next year to defend my title," reply to a question during a live interview.

Chong Wei's reply drew a big round of applause from those inside the Barclaycard Arena. To his critics it sent a strong message that his playing career is far from over and he could even be playing at the next Olympics after missing out on the gold for the successive Olympics.

He won the silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Olympics in London – on both occasions losing to his nemesis Lin Dan. At the Rio Olympics last year Chong Wei was again at the losing end – this time he fell to Chen Long in the final.

Winning this year's All-England, often described as the most prestigious badminton tournament in the world, is motivation enough for Chong Wei to switch his focus to this year's World Championships in Glasgow in August.

Chong Wei won his first All-England title in 2010 and retained it in 2011. His third title came in 2014 and winning it for fourth time this year is a "morale and confidence booster" for the World Championships.

He is Malaysia's pride and he is Asia's pride. Badminton fans throughout the world will certainly hear more of the Malaysian.
More importantly he is the much sought after "ambassador" in Badminton Asia's programme to open new frontiers in the sport that is gaining popularity in lesser known badminton playing nations.



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