Glasgow: So, who's the favorite to win the badminton men's singles title at XX Commonwealth Games after Lee Chong Wei's withdrawal? Really, there is none. Or there are about 4 to 6 players, depending on your viewpoint.
Daren Liew (left) and Chong Wei Feng have to step up in Glasgow after losing Lee Chong WeiDaren Liew (left) and Chong Wei Feng have to step up in Glasgow after losing Lee Chong Wei
The Glasgow men's singles badminton event might be one of the most wide open tournaments in years where there are so many different guys that could win. Malaysia's Chong Wei Feng, Daren Liew, India’s Kashyap Parupalli, K Srikanth and England's Rajiv Ouseph, they all have an equal shot at the title.
Now, the question remains whether the Malaysian - Chong Wei Feng who turned 27 two months ago, and Daren Liew who will turn 27 in August could defend the gold medal without Chong Wei? These two guys are certainly not young anymore — at least by an athlete’s standard; they’ve paid their dues and worked their tails off during the training, and this is their time to shine.
Malaysia's national coach Rashid Sidek said Chong Wei Feng has to shoulder the burden this time.
"Chong Wei has done this many times; it's now the time for Wei Feng to step up to the competition level significantly."
"Malaysia has won men’s singles at the last six Commonwealth Games consecutively, Wei Feng already 27 and he has to prove he is the ideal replacement for Chong Wei by winning the gold," added Rashid.
As for Daren Liew, his performance has been dogged by injuries since 2012. If he could seize his opportunity by winning the title at Glasgow, this could help him restore his confidence.
"I want to pick myself up and turn things around in Glasgow, as this fourth largest multi-sport event in the world only took place every four years," said Daren.
"I am looking forward for an all-Malaysian final, between Wei Feng and I, we are determined to make this happen," added the confident Daren.