Per­for­mance, not age, de­cides a player’s ca­reer

New Straits Times - - Sport -

THIS year’s World Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow may be my last but re­gard­less of the out­come, I am happy with where I am af­ter 18 years of serv­ing the na­tional team. Many are call­ing on me to quit. They say I’m old and I don’t dis­agree with them. How­ever, I am still on top of my game and I’m en­joy­ing my­self so why should I quit?

Of course phys­i­cally, I am not the young Chong Wei any­more but men­tally I am strong.

In the past, I couldn’t ac­cept de­feats. I would be so dis­ap­pointed that it would af­fect me on court.

Now I am dif­fer­ent and that is why at the World Cham­pi­onships this year, I am ready to ac­cept any result.

If I lose, then so be it. I am done with hav­ing to deal with so much pres­sure go­ing into a tour­na­ment.

I be­lieve free­ing my mind prior to this year’s world meet would do me a whole lot of good.

I can­not lie. The World Cham­pi­onship ti­tle is ev­ery player’s dream, but I must ap­proach it dif­fer­ently.

I’ve come so close on three oc­ca­sions (2011, 2013 and 2015). This year I’m go­ing with zero ex­pec­ta­tion.

This was ex­actly the case at the re­cent All Eng­land.

I did not go there think­ing I was go­ing to win my fourth ti­tle.

Ev­ery­body knows that I only had a week of full train­ing be­fore leav­ing for Birm­ing­ham. But when I won the semi-fi­nal (against Tai­wan’ Chou Tien Chen), I thought to my­self, maybe I have a chance to win my fourth crown.

But it was never go­ing to be easy. I ad­mit, I was already pre­pared to face Lin Dan in the fi­nal. Who knew he was go­ing to lose to Shi Yuqi? That is sports. You can never say for sure. I have had my fair share of ups and downs but now it’s time for me to en­joy my­self.

Talking about en­joy­ing my­self, I am look­ing for­ward to the Malaysia Open in Kuch­ing (Apr 4-9).

It was at the same sta­dium (Per­pad­uan Sta­dium) back in 2006, that I had one of my most mem­o­rable come­backs against Lin Dan.

Imag­ine trail­ing 13-20 in the de­cider ... would you have thought of win­ning the match? No way, be­cause even I couldn’t be­lieve it. I lev­elled the score and won 23-21 in the end. Go­ing there again means a lot to me. Hope­fully, I win my 12th ti­tle and give the lo­cal fans some­thing to cheer for.

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