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Lee Chong W(e)in..please!

August 18, 2016

 

 

OPINION


Hands up who wants to be in Lee Chong Wei's shoes right now - the pressure must be enormous.

 

Ranked as badminton's world number one for a large part of his career Chong Wei has been unable to secure a major title like the world championships or the Olympics and one man has been mainly responsible for that - China's Lin Dan.

 

In both 2008 and 2012 Chong Wei reached the Olympic finals with the weight of his country hoping, believing even, that he would win Malaysia's first ever gold medal, only to be beaten by Lin Dan.

 

The left-handed Lin Dan also beat him in the finals of the 2011 and 2013 world championships and in the gold medal contests at the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014.

 

On Friday night Chong Wei will meet Lin Dan again, this time in the first semi-final for a chance to achieve what many Malaysians believe he is destined to do, win the Olympic gold, Malaysia's first.

 

The feeling in Malaysia now mirrors that of  Australia in 2000 when Cathy Freeman seemed destined to win gold in her event the 400 metre race - a buzz  was in the air.

 

It may just be the annual haze in the air over here but everybody is talking about the Lin Dan showdown. Temporary projector TV screens are popping up faster than Pokemon followers and are being set up at restaurants and sporting complexes all over Seremban in the last few days.

 

Seremban's Youth and sports complex in Paroi usually has a few hundred people every night who go to the track religiously to walk, run, play football or futsal, play badminton, exercise, disco dance or zumba. Like singing the national anthem, the majority stopped and stood or sat to watch Chong Wei's quarter final match when it began, which he comfortably won, before resuming their preferred exercise choice.

 

Can he beat Lin Dan the wily lefty from China? He has beaten him back to back for the first time in 36 matches, this year already and has been inspired by his teammates wins in the doubles competition.

 

“The pressure is on now. It’s the usual thing. Now, I just want to focus on my own game and think of nothing else. But I’m glad to reach my third Olympic semi-finals,” said Chong Wei.

 

Cool as a cucumber in nasi lemak....it's in the bag - Malaysia boleh Chong Wei.

 

Don't miss it, 7.30pm Friday evening in Malaysia.

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