Thursday, 11 April 2013

Baby Chong Wei's priority

LEE Chong Wei has opted out of Saturday's Axiata Cup semi-finals to be with his wife Wong Mew Choo who is due to givebirth to their first child tomorrow.

Chong Wei, who was initially expected to strengthen Malaysia's chances of reaching the final, has confirmed that he needs to be with Mew Choo and this means either Liew Daren or Chong Wei Feng will play in the last four.

"I am not going to play in the Axiata Cup this weekend. Mew Choo is due to give birth on Friday and I need to be with her. I am really excited," said Chong Wei.

Turning to his fitness, Chong Wei said: "I was a bit under prepared last week for the Australia Open but I have already started my training but my main focus is to be with my wife at the moment.

"I am also down to play in the India Open (April 23-28) but I have not made a decision whether to compete or withdraw.

"I am going to spend a lot of time with my wife and our newborn baby and also keep training. I don't want to think too much about the tournaments yet."

National singles chief coach Rashid Sidek respected Chong Wei decision and now believes Malaysia will have to fight for survival in the Axiata Cup in the absence of the World No 1.

The draw for the Axiata Cup will be conducted tomorrow where Malaysia will either play Thailand or the Asian All-Stars.

The fourth team involved in the semi-finals are Indonesia who topped the league standings.

"Our chances of reaching the final would have been better with Chong Wei but we understand his situation," said Rashid.

"Chong Wei is very excited about the birth of his son, so I don't think he will be in any frame of mind to play in a tournament.

"Daren put on strong resistance against Lee Hyun Il when we played the Asian All-Stars two weeks ago but it is against Thailand that we will have a problem as both players tend to struggle against Tanongsak (Saensomboonsuk).

"Daren or Wei Feng will have to raise their game if they are fielded in the semi-finals."
Last year Malaysia fielded two teams -- Tigers and Leopards -- but were knocked out by Indonesia Garuda and Rajawali respectively in the semi-finals.


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