Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei’s participation in the upcoming Badminton World Championships in Nanjing, China is under doubt after the world No 2 failed to report for training.
Chong Wei, 35, is seeded second in the men’s singles draw for the tournament starting on 30 July and is slated to meet India’s no 1 K Srikanth in the quarter-finals.
His absence from the camp has also raised questions over his availability for the upcoming Asian Games, according to a report in the Daily Star.
“I rang him yesterday and he told me he wanted to rest longer,” national men’s singles head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek was quoted as saying. “That’s very unusual. Even when he was injured previously, he would still come to the training centre for rehabilitation. This is definitely not good for him with the world meet just one week away. I’m not sure if he’s hiding anything from us. But if he insisted on longer break, that’s his right.”
The report added that it is not clear if he is injured or ill, and that Sidek couldn’t confirm if he will pull out of the marquee event.
Chong Wei, who in his remarkably successful career has never won the World Championships, was eliminated by journeyman Brice Leverdez in the opening round last year. Incidentally, if the Malaysian legend has to better his three runners-up finishes at the Worlds, he has to begin by beating Leverdez this year, in a rematch of last year’s first round fixture.
Should he participate at the Worlds after all, Chong Wei finds himself in a tricky half of the draw, with potential meetings in the second round against Tzu Wei Wang, in the third round against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Srikanth in the quarters and the in-form Kento Momota in the semis.