KUALA LUMPUR: Despite being deluged with conflicts and injuries, national ace Lee Chong Wei remains in high spirits and will play at the All England Badminton Championships on March 7-12.
Chong Wei said this year’s edition of the championships would probably be his last and that he would not want to waste the opportunity to play even though he was still recovering from a knee injury.
This will also be his first appearance this year after a three-month break.
“My last stint was in Dubai (Super Series in December last year), so this edition of the All England Championships will probably be my last before retirement … I will definitely push myself to do my level best.
“Right now, the most important thing for me is to get the ‘tournament feeling’.”
The world number one, who won the title three times in 2010, 2011 and 2014, spoke to reporters after his training session at the Malaysian Badminton Academy here today.
About his injuries, Chong Wei said although he had yet to fully recover, his doctor, physiotherapist and coach had given clearance for him to play at the All England.
“The injuries are not 100% healed. I can still feel the pain, still feel phobic (during training), but I’m sure I can get over it and focus my mind on getting fit.
“Right now, the emphasis is on mental preparation.”
Chong Wei has been installed as the top seed in the All England Championships, to be held at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham.
He is not expected to face a major obstacle in his quest to reach the final where he is expected to meet Denmark’s rising star Jan O Jorgensen, the second seed in the championships.
Chong Wei has been drawn to face a qualifier in the first round and face either Wei Nan from Hong Kong or Wang Tzu Wei (Taiwan) in the second round.
Barring any upsets, the world number one is expected to meet another rising star from China, Tian Houwei, the seventh seed in the quarterfinals.
Last year’s Rio Olympics gold medallist Chen Long from China, who is seeded number five, is highly favoured to meet Chong Wei in the semifinals.