Badminton Life

Lee Chong Wei Eyeing Japan Success

World number one Lee Chong Wei hopes to make the most of his top-ranking and the absence of some key Chinese players at this week's Japan Open, the first Super Series event after the Olympic Games.

Lee won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics after falling in the final to China's Lin Dan - the man he replaced as the top player in the world.

Lee now wants to justify his ranking by successfully defending his title in Tokyo. However, he hopes that the many functions he was forced to attend after his Olympic run has not disrupted his training.

"I have gone to a lot of functions after the Olympics and some of them were not related to badminton," said Lee, who last year beat Lin and Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat on the way to the final.

"But I have resumed training since the beginning of last month to prepare for the Japan Open.

"There is a good chance for me to win my third Super Series title because the Chinese players are not competing and I will not waste this opportunity."

Lin will not be playing in Tokyo while his compatriots, Olympic bronze medallist Chen Jin and world number three Bao Chunlai, are also absent this week.

Indonesia's world number five Sony Dwi Kuncoro is the second seed. Sony was beaten by Lee in the quarter-finals of the Olympic men's singles competition.

Not only does Lee want to defend his title but he is also intent on holding on to the number one spot.

In two previous stints as world number one, Lee failed to hang on for very long and both times was overtaken by Lin.

In his opening match, Lee defeated China's Zhu Weilun before overcoming Japan's Sho Sasaki. He faces a quarter-final against Chinese qualifier Qiu Yanbo.

Taufik, the fourth seed, is also doing well in the tournament, having secured a quarter-final tie against Denmark's Joachim Persson.

Sony takes on Malaysian Muhammad Roslin Hashim in the last eight after beating Japan's Koichi Saeki and Malaysia's Sairul Amar Ayob.

The other quarter-final is between Japan's Kenichi Tago and China's Lu Yi.

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