Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Can Chong Wei Do It?

Lee Chong Wei has promised to make amends in next year's London Olympics for his (to me, unnecessary and self-inflicted) loss to Lin Dan of China, in the recently concluded world badminton championships singles. I really hope he does so not only for the country's sake, but more importantly for himself.
Starsport (16th Aug 2011)

I have a lot of respect for Chong Wei for being the no 1 ranked world badminton player. However, as long as there is someone out there who consistently beats him, I cannot be fully convinced that Chong Wei is the best in the world.

And I think he knows it too. We cannot be satisfied of being nearly there. We either are or we aren't. Being the world no 1 ranked player because your nemesis takes part in a fewer tournaments than you is not the ideal situation be be proud of being no1.

You must be able to consistently beat all before you. Chong Wei, in my view, has not be able to positively establish that he is actually the king of the badminton world as long as Lin Dan proves otherwise.

And while Chong Wei prepares to make amends, it will surely be a good idea for his coaches to emphasize a little more on the mental aspect of being a true champion. In fact, Malaysian sports have never been strong on the mental aspect of sports.

A true champion must learn to be consistently ruthless. After winning the first set, instead of coming out with guns blazing in the second set, Chong Wei played a laid back game, making multiple errors and allowing Lin Dan to catch up and level the score at 2-2. And in the concluding rubber set, Chong Wei  let slip a 2 match points advantage to lose the game.

All this showed a lack of mental strength. Like what former badminton great Morten Frost Hansen said, if I may paraphrase him, it is not nice to be too nice.

So, can Chong Wei make it? I am not too optimistic. But I and all Malaysians want to be proven wrong.

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