MALAYSIA’S top men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei is ready to prescribe the best medicine for his sick coach Datuk Misbun Sidek — by winning the Super Series Masters Finals at the Likas Indoor Stadium today.
Yesterday, world No. 1 Chong Wei defeated Taufik Hidayat 21-5, 21-10 in an anti-climactic 25-minute semi-final match that saw the Indonesian putting up an insipid performance, much to the chagrin of the 5,000-odd spectators.
Today promises to be a thrilling day for local badminton fans as Malaysian shuttlers will be in action in three finals — Chong Wei against Denmark’s Peter Gade-Christensen (men’s singles), Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong against South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Jung Jae-sung (men’s doubles) and Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty against Indonesia’s Lilyana Natsir-Vita Marissa (women’s doubles).
National singles coach Misbun was not in Kota Kinabalu yesterday to see his charges in action as promised. But he had a valid reason — he was admitted to the hospital for fever and dehydration as soon as he returned from Mecca on Friday.
“I called Misbun before my match against Taufik. He was on drips but has been discharged. He sounded weak but wished me well,” said Chong Wei.
“I know I have yet to win a title as the world number one. This is my best chance. If I can pull it off, it will be the best gift for my coach.”
Chong Wei took the world No. 1 spot after winning a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics but has failed to bag any titles to justify his top ranking.
On his match against Taufik yesterday, Chong Wei said: “It was just too easy for me. Probably, he wasn’t in good condition.”
Chong Wei said he is bracing for a backlash from Gade-Christensen today.
“I beat him two days ago. He will surely bounce back strongly. But if I can stay focused, I should be able to take him on,” said Chong Wei.
Former Olympic and world champion Taufik took his defeat in his stride.
“I have no excuses. I am not in the best of condition but today, Chong Wei played very well,” he said. “I will go back and train more. Next year I will return better prepared.”