LET’S THINK BIG
Chong Wei urges teammates to reach Sudirman Cup final
AJITPAL SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTHING is impossible for World No 1 Lee Chong Wei. Malaysia have never set high hopes in the Sudirman Cup but the 34-year-old has challenged his team to create history and make the final for the first time in the mixed-team competition, which starts on Sunday in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Chong Wei-led team are in Group IC with 2014 Thomas Cup winners Japan and Germany. Malaysia’s best ever showing in the Sudirman Cup was reaching the semi-finals in 2009 in Guangzhou. In 2015 in Dongguan, the team exited the quarter-finals.
“We have nothing to lose... I believe we have a bright chance of going far.
“I think our only setback is in the mixed doubles due to the unavailability of Goh Liu Ying,” said Chong Wei after he extended his contract as 100PLUS brand ambassador for another two years in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
“We still have an option in World No 11 Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing in the mixed doubles. Liu Ying’s partner Chan Peng Soon is also in the squad and he can partner youngster Cheah Yee See. I think we can manage in this event.
“The team have depth in the doubles department. We can inter-change the partners to serve our opponents a surprise. Everyone is eager and prepared for the challenge.
“We aim for the semi-finals first before we look at reaching the final, which will be a bonus if we do.”
Chong Wei said unlike in previous editions, Malaysia’s youngsters in the team are also capable of delivering points.
“Women’s singles Goh Jin Wei has been churning out decent results while Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi can easily produce the same effect as World No 4 Goh V ShemTan Wee Kiong if they are fielded,” Chong Wei added.
The team, who leave for Australia tomorrow, will open their campaign against Germany on May 23, followed by Japan the following day. The top two in each group will make the quarter-finals.
Others in the team are Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles), Soniia Cheah (women’s singles), Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles).
BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (centre) with Lee Chong Wei at an event to extend the latter’s contract as 100PLUS brand ambassador in Petaling Jaya yesterday. Looking on are 100PLUS marketing manager Leong Wai Yin (fourth from right), F&N consultant Datuk Kamal Harun (third from left) and F&N corporate communications manager Cariessa Goh Geak (second from right).