Malaysian’s long-time coach Sue Bock says that the World No. 1 is not as mentally strong as the Chinese superstar
Mumbai: Every sport has its own little riddles and Badminton too has a special case. The Malaysian Lee Chong Wei might be the world no. 1 but why does he keep failing against Lin Dan, the multiple Olympic and World champion?
It’s a question that fascinates the Badminton fraternity and who better to answer it than Lee’s personal coach Tey Seu Bock? The coach offers a very interesting analogy as an explanation. He says that two cars can be similar in make, they can have the same engine and even be the exact shape and size but still you will find one minor detail that differentiates the two.
For him as far as talent and skill is concerned he says Lee and Lin Dan are very much alike but he says that the Malaysian does seem to be mentally fragile when it comes to winning that gold medal. “Lin Dan is mentally much stronger player. He is fantastic, a one in a million so to speak.
We can’t make Lee like Lin Dan so it was always going to come down to how Lee plays him in big finals like in the Olympics and World championships.
But Lee always failed cause Dan always had this mental edge over him,” Bock said yesterday. “Firstly Lee plays far more tournaments than Lin Dan so his rank remains on the top but Lin Dan just peaks in the right events. Lin Dan has everything, so his way of thinking in events is different.
He has lot of medals and so the pressure is less. Lee has to deal with many pressures. The pressure of beating Lin Dan, the pressure of winning a medal for Malaysia as all hopes lie on him,” the Malaysian coach added.
The world championship earlier in the month looked like the best chance Lee had. Even in the final he was a game up but then injury struck and all hopes faded. Lee, for his part, does not want to talk about the World Championship failure.
He is in India to play the Indian Badminton League and he just wants to win his first match. The format seems simple for him.
One match a day, shorter than usual badminton matches, against players he can beat in his sleep in front of crowds that love him – Lee has won many tournaments in India, including two India Super Series.
However, you could sense his disappointment; so close to the medal and yet so far. Bock says that the rest he took after the tournament was not just to escape the physical cramps but to recharge his brain.
“The whole of Malaysia wants him to win. But when you are the world No 1, you have to take it when you lose. Malaysia is a small country compared to China who can produce 10 players like him to beat him.
We can’t do that in Malaysia,” says Bock. He adds that it is a similar situation what Saina Nehwal faces. For now Bock says that Lee is fit again and raring to go in the IBL.
Lee has played in the China league for two years and the competition there is fierce compared to what he will face here so handling the pressure of the IBL will be right down his alley. Bock is also the coach of the Mumbai Masters and the coach says that training players in India is easier that in Malaysia.
“Overall Indian standards are better than what it was the last time I came here. India has 6-7 players who are at the same level. It’s different in Malaysia, we have fewer players on a similar level and it becomes difficult to coach there. It is easier to train Indian players for me.”