KUALA LUMPUR: The mind games have started even before the Malaysian team, led by world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, arrive in Guangzhou for the World Championships which will only begin on Wednesday at the Tianhe Gymnasium.
National singles coach Tey Seu Bock yesterday expressed his displeasure and annoyance with the hosts, China, for not entertaining Malaysia’s request to train at the venue.
“We’ve asked China to allocate two training slots at the competition hall but we have yet to hear anything from them. They have not even responded, although we have put our names down for scheduled practice,” said Seu Bock.
“We will arrive in Guangzhou tomorrow (today) ... but we still do not know whether we’ll get a chance to have a practice session. This is, however, something that we had expected from China and we are used to it.”
At the last year’s Thomas Cup Finals in Wuhan, Chong Wei represented Malaysia as the world No. 1 player but his picture was nowhere to be seen in any of their banners hung around the city or even in the souvenir books.
“We know China are determined to make a clean sweep of all the titles on home ground and they will do their best to intimidate their rivals. We are used to their psychological warfare,” said Seu Bock.
“It will be out first day in Guangzhou tomorrow (today) and we have told our players not to be intimidated by them at all. We completed our 10-day training in Hong Kong today.”
Seu Bock said he was happy with the commitment shown by Chong Wei and his younger team-mates – Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng – during the short training stint in Hong Kong.
All three enjoyed good sparring sessions with back-up players Tan Kian Meng, Choong Yee Han and Loh Wei Sheng.
“Chong Wei will be the centre of attention in Guangzhou ... China see him as the main challenger. But I’m confident that he is mature enough to handle himself,” said Seu Bock.
“Daren and Wei Feng were just as focused as Chong Wei during the training sessions and I’m pleased with their commitment. The preparation is over ... now, it’s all in their mind. I hope our players will not allow the pressure to get to them.”