Chong Wei begins his final All-England campaign today, determined to fight to the end

When news broke early February that Malaysia’s badminton ace Dato Lee Chong Wei slipped on mat during training and will miss this year’s much anticipated YONEX All-England open, Malaysians were left distraught.

Against all odds  

The 34-year-old tore his medial collateral ligament (MC) in his left knee and needed about three to six weeks to recover. However, a second scan on his knee three weeks later convinced his medical team and coaches that Chong Wei was fit for the All England tournament in Birmingham.

Apart from the injury, Chong Wei also got into an altercation with Badminton Association of Malaysia’s technical director, Morten Frost. That was soon resolved with the introduction of a “Special Squad”, a team led by Hendrawan and Tey Seu Bock.

The main focus of the special squad is to groom and train a select number of athletes, including Lee Chong Wei, for impeding major world championships.

This year’s All-England tournament will give our badminton King another shot at possibly raking in gold for Malaysia, something he’s been meaning to do since the last three Olympics.

Chong Wei v Lin Dan in the finals? 

Chong Wei, who has also been installed as the top seed in the All England Badminton Championships, could be facing his arch-nemesis Lin Dan in the tournament, a bittersweet reunion for the two. Lin Dan has avoided talks of retirement, but Chong Wei is aware that he cannot go on much longer. In fact, this will be his last All-England tournament.

“I admit age is no longer on my side, but I have never let it weaken my spirit,” Chong Wei told The Star.

He may not even be 100% fit for the tournament, but if there’s anything we know about Chong Wei, it is that he will fight with every fibre in his being to make his fellow Malaysians proud.

It’s happening! 

Chong Wei will open All England his campaign on Wednesday (March 8). Hei has won the All-England title three time before; in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

The tournament is currently being held at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, from 7th to 12th of March.

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