Badminton Life

Lee Chong Wei Hoping to Repay Coach Misbun

Malaysian number one Lee Chong Wei will be hoping to perform for his coach and mentor Misbun Sidek when he leads the country in the Thomas Cup Finals next week in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lee felt a bit down when the coach was forced to miss a three-day Thomas and Uber Cups team-building camp in the resort town of Port Dickson.

Misbun's wife was unwell, forcing him to miss the camp. Lee, however, maintained his loyalty to Misbun by making sure he followed orders.

"There is no place I would rather my coach be than by his wife's side," Chong Wei was quoted as saying in the local media. "He had been downcast but he had still given his best for me and the other players during training.

"I am taking all his advice to heart. Lately, he has been focusing on me a lot, drumming a few things into my head, like 'Wei, watch what you eat', 'sleep early' and 'stay focused on the mission ahead'."

Misbun's absence gave Lee a chance to sit back and appreciate exactly what the coach has done for his career. And the world number two admits that his success was inspired by Misbun's role behind the scenes.

Said Lee; "Misbun is more than a coach to me. He is like a father to me. One way for me to repay him for all his sacrifices will be to do well in the two major tournaments this year - the Thomas Cup Finals and the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

"Over the years, I have learnt to respect him more and more. I used to dread Thursdays because of his punishing physical trainings. But after a while, I started looking forward to it.

"He has been there for me when my badminton career was at its lowest ebb. And I want to be there for him now. I hope everything works out well for Misbun and that he will be back - without anything to worry about ahead of next week's Finals."

Malaysia will face South Korea and England in Group C of the Thomas Cup Finals from May 11-18 with the top team advancing to the quarter-finals.

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