Chong Wei not keen on competing in BATC

The Malaysian badminton team would definitely need to prepare themselves for a tough time in the Badminton Asia Team Championship (BATC) in Hyderabad, India next month as there is a possibility of an absence from national number one Lee Chong Wei.

The badminton powerhouse admitted that if he was given a choice, he would want to be excluded from the championship, which is also serving as a qualifying stage for the 2016 Thomas Cup. In fact, men’s singles’ coach Hendrawan is keen on leaving Chong Wei out of the BATC.

Chong Wei stated that the team should stop relying on him in major tournaments and that the younger players need to learn to take responsibility and step up their performance. Moreover, the 33 year-old is limiting himself in terms of physical, in order to prepare for the upcoming Rio Olympics.

“If I was given a choice, I would request to be excluded from the Thomas Cup qualifying. How much longer must they depend on me for these sort of championships, it’s time for the younger players to be the main focus,” said Chong Wei as quoted from Utusan.

“However, the decision is not in my hands. It all depends on the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to decide what’s best.”

Equipped with a rather weak team, Malaysia would also need to bear the risk of not qualifying for the Thomas Cup for the first time in history. Even if they do qualify, many predict an early exit from the team.

However, former singles’ coach Rashid Sidek completely trusts Hendrawan’s decision if he wishes to omit Chong Wei from the BATC.

“Chong Wei’s absence may dent Malaysia’s hopes of making it to the Thomas Cup final because teams like India, Japan and South Korea are strong contenders in the Championship,” Rashid said Resorts World Genting Champion of Champions Badminton Challenge at the Arena of Stars yesterday.

Chong Wei also mentioned that he would be prioritizing the All England Championship and the Switzerland Open held in March.

“I’m aiming for those two championships. I have to talk to my coach  and ask for his opinion.”

Regarding the Malaysia Masters in Penang held this month, it is confirmed that Chong Wei will take on India’s R.M.V. Gurusaidutt in his opening match.

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