Interview with Chong Wei Feng
Chong Wei Feng born in Kedah on 26th May 1987. Wei Feng is currently regarded as one of the upcoming players in the elite squad to replace the senior players such as the World number 1 Lee Chong Wei, Hafiz Hashim and Wong Choong Hann.
Chong Wei Feng
1. How old are you now?
24 years old , I was on 26.05.1987
2. At what age did you start playing badminton?
I started playing at the age of 9. I went to a private coaching centre in Kedah
3. Is badminton your number 1 passion and interest?
4. Were you good in other sports as well or badminton was just 'it?
5. Before being drafted to the national team, which state did you represent for?
I represented the Kedah state team.
6. And you were drafted in because you won some national championships?
Nope, I was drafted in through the BAM annual selections in 2004 (17 years old).
7. Was it your intention to be a professional player from the start?
Yes, ever since I picked up the sport, it's my target to enter the national team to become a professional player.
8. How do you find the route of becoming a national player for Malaysia, easy or extremely hard?
Yes it's extremely hard, requires a lot of focus and drive. Along the way, you'll face many obstacles.
9. What has been the most difficult barrier for you to overcome in order to become a professional badminton player?
Most difficult barrier I have to overcome is tough training. Day in and day out, rain or shine.
10. Have you ever thought of quitting?
Yes, when I was around 20 years old. During that stage, there's no result in the international scene and a lot pressure from the media and me.
11. Are you playing and training full time now?
12. Are you enjoying it?
I'm enjoying it now, although it's tough.
13. Are you happy with your progress in the game so far?
Not that happy, I know can do better than this.
14. Have you ever considered playing in doubles?
Nope, I've never thought of playing doubles but when we were at the junior stage we play doubles and singles.
15. Do you feel any pressure from your coach or BAM that one day you will have to fill in the void left by Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choon Han and etc. once they retire?
Yes, of course there's pressure but I'm dealing with it quite well. If you have a target there will be pressure from every aspects yourself, BAM, media and etc.
16. How hard is it to fill in the shoes of these senior players especially when you have players like Chong Wei who is currently world No.1?
It is extremely hard especially when we have a great player like Chong Wei.
17. Which other young players are being groomed just like you at this stage to take over from the senior players?
Yeah, there's a big group of us. Comprises of Chan Kwong Beng, Liew Daren, Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Goh Soon Huat, Lim Fang Yang, Iskandar Zulkarnain and etc.
18. There is currently still a big gap to fill between the backup players and the senior players. Why is it so?
Well if we compare to Chong Wei or Lin Dan there's a big gap, but if we compare to other players in the world, it's not that big gap. On our good day, we can take on anyone. As for me and others as well, we need to improve more on stroke consistency.
19. What is your highlights in your career so far?
I entered the quarter-finals in the 2011 Malaysian Open Super Series.
20. A lot of people say that at the moment, there is no one in Malaysia capable of filling in the shoes of Lee Chong Wei. Being a young Malaysian player yourself, whats your view on this?
Yes I agreed, currently there is no one to take over Chong Wei as his standard is so high, he is the best player Malaysia ever had produced. As for now it's better for me to improve on my own game and strive to bring my game to a higher level.
21. To become a successful player, a lot of sacrifices have to be made. Do you think it is worthwhile?
22. What do you think of the new rally points scoring system?
It's good for younger players or the underdog to create upset with a more reputable player.
23. Currently which player you admire the most, both at the local and the international scene?
Peter Gade, because of his character and his style of play.
24. Who do you regard as the all time best player?
The best player would be Lee Chong Wei, it's because he brings men's singles to another level. He has everything in his game. He's not so talented but it's all through hardwork.
25. What is your strength in your game?
My skills and long rallies.
26. Which part of your game can be improved?
I need to improve on my power game.
27. What do you think of the Malaysia badminton scene? Is it going uphill or downhill?
The juniors are doing well. Recently we have won the world junior title singles, team, boy's doubles event. Even the backup players are doing moderately well. I'll give myself another 2 years, at that time I'll be 26. If there's still no result, I have no choice but quit the sport, but by then these juniors will be ready to replace us.
28. China seems to be producing young players in abundance capable to challenge for international honors. Why do you think so?
There's a huge pool players over there, the competition level is higher. It's very competitive as well. To enter the national team is also tougher than anywhere else.
29. Is the gap really that big between Malaysia badminton and China?
There is a gap, but not that big. Lin Dan and Chong Wei is quite the same level.
30. Do you personally think Malaysia Badminton can recapture its previous glory?
It's an uphill task, but possible.
31. In your view, what more can be done by our sports ministry or BAM to help the above cause?
Give younger players, more opportunity to play tournaments for more exposure. When I was a junior player I have had not much opportunity to play abroad, for now I'm finally playing tournaments, but it's a bit too late. It's better to exposed them at a younger age. A very good example, the young Malaysian, Zulfadli who won the Asian Junior and the World Junior Championship recently; He's not under the banner of BAM, he had international tournaments exposure at a very young age.
32. Who is your current coach?
Rashid Sidek and The Seu Bok
33. How is the coaching standard in Malaysia?
I would consider it good as it's our national sport.
34. What is your current training regime like?
Every day court training accept for Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, we have weight training at the gym. Thursday and Saturday half day.
35. What do you think of the recent appointment of Joo Jae Sung as the national men's doubles coach?
Well doubles is not my event. There's a lot of coaches in the doubles department. All in all its good for Malaysia badminton. More experiences from other countries.
36. What is your advice for other aspiring badminton players?
Badminton is not that easy as you think. You have to persevere and work hard.
37. Do you consider being a professional badminton player a rewarding career?
It's depends if you able to make it. It's like a gamble. If you win, you win. If you lose , you lose it all. Your time, sacrifices, effort and etc.
38. When do you expect a breakthrough on the international scene?
Should be after the Olympic Games next year; that's my target. I need to step up my game, as theres many players retiring after the Olympics Games next year.
39. What is your aspiration as a badminton player? What would you like to achieve?
World Championship or at least the All England Champion. Any major titles will do.
40. What is your immediate aim?
Sea Games, I'll be playing the 3rd singles in the team event. I hope to win all my matches.
41. How confident are you in becoming Malaysia No.1 singles player?
I have to say it'll be quite difficult, but I guess we have to wait till Chong Wei retires hahaha
42. Would you like to take this opportunity to make a statement to the World of Badminton of what to expect of you in the coming years?
Haha no there's no statement, my performance in the international scene would be the statement. I'll just continue working hard on my game.
43.Badminton-information.com is planning to start a badminton league. Do you think it will increase the level of the players especially the back up players ?and why? Do you support the league?
Of course, it'll improve the standards. More opportunities, chances to prove our self. Yes I do support, it's a good start for Malaysia badminton. The equipment, attire, the game evolves, so must the system.
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