PASIR GUDANG: In the absence of the three-time All-England champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng needs to prove he can live up to the expectation as the second best men's singles in Malaysia.
Chong Wei Feng hopes he can at least reach the final of the championship while China are banking on their future stars for exposing them to more international tournaments.
Wei Feng has never reach a final of any Open tournament, is in the lower half of the draw with 2010 Asian junior champion Huang Yuxiang of China, Japanese youngster Kazumasa Sakai, defending champion Alamsyah Yunus of Indonesia, and a host of upcoming Indian shuttlers - R.M.V. Gurusaidatt, Sourabh Varma, Chetan Anand and Anup Sridhar.
China’s two rising stars,Guo Kai and Xue Song, are in the top half with top seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand, Simon Santoso of Indonesia and Malaysia’s former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli and Soo Teck Zhi, the former Asian junior champion.
Wei Feng will take on Taiwan’s Hsuan Yi-hsueh in the first round on Wednesday. By talking to him, we can tell that he is still bothered by his debacle at the Myanmar SEA Games in December last year.
“At the SEA Games, I lost to A. Suppanyu of Thailand in the first round. I will never forget that and I will try not to repeat that. I hope to be more focused this time,” said the world No. 14.
“Several players from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Indonesia who are around my age and several juniors from different countries trying to make their mark. I am not a junior any longer and it is time for me to step up,” added Wei Feng.
Wei Feng was able to nailed the national title for the first time last year in Chong Wei’s absence. And he is keeping his fingers crossed of making another breakthrough on the international stage.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is hoping its men's doubles such as defending champions Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Tan Boon Heong-Ow Yao Han could do well. However, they face tough challenges from fifth seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China, French Open champions Markis Kido-Gidoen Markus Fernaldi of Indonesia and their compatriots Fran Kurniawan-Bona Septano.
Malaysia failed to make it grand double when Malaysia only won men's doubles through Khim Wah-V Shem. Goh Soon Huat but failed in the men’s singles final.