Performance, not age, decides a player’s career
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.