Former national men singles player Wong Choong Hann has admitted that Lee Chong Wei has to focus more on the Denmark duo of Viktor Axelsen and Jan O Jorgensen in the process of collecting points to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medallist believes that Chong Wei must not take other players lightly, especially considering his aging factor.
“Chen Long and Lin Dan of China have been his traditional rivals, but in my opinion, Victor and Jorgensen are also players who need to be paid close attention to,” he told Harian Metro.
He added that it would not be a problem for Chong Wei to seal a spot in Rio and it’s just a matter of time.
“When Chong Wei qualifies, other national shuttlers may find it hard to follow his footsteps. There are less tournaments now, and the likes of Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Chong Wei Feng have a serious challenge ahead.”
“They (Zulfadli and Wei Feng) have to excel in the remaining competitions to actually have a shot at Rio. It would be a huge task if they failed to, in my opinion,” said the 2002 China Open winner.
Choong Hann also believes Chong Wei’s early exit in Korea Open is not to be worried about.
“If he doesn’t get enough rest then certainly he will not be able to give his best. If he managed to qualify for the Olympics next year, then he can slow his rhythm down, participating only in big events when needed.”
“For an experienced player like Chong Wei, I believe that he will be able to take care of his own self, his own performances. I have faith that he will perform well next year.
WHAT DO WE THINK?
As an experienced shuttler himself, Choong Hann understands LCW’s struggles now as age catches up. Which is why it is acceptable that he is advising LCW to pay more attention to other players as well, not just Chen Long and Lin Dan. An example of that is in the Korea Open, where Chong Wei surprisingly lost to an unknown player, proving that anything can happen as other shuttlers are looking to excel as well. LCW needs to learn how to cope with his own body condition as well, before looking to outclass his opponents, who are younger and faster now.
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