Badminton Life

Lee Plans China and Hong Kong Assault

Malaysia's world number one Lee Chong Wei has high hopes of success at his next two Super Series tournaments, having practically sealed his place in the year-ending grand finale.

Lee is on top of the points standings and only needs to take part in the China Open this week and next week's Hong Kong Open to ensure himself a place in the Super Series Finals in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia at the end of the year.

With his mind at ease, he can concentrate on winning titles, something he has failed to do since he assumed the world's number one ranking more than three months ago.

Lee, 26, said he recently spoke with Malaysian sports minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the reasons why he lost against Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat during recent tournaments.

The reasons given included the pressure of being number one.

He said in the local media: "I had a chat with the minister and he accepted my explanations. He gave me an assurance that support would be given to me to help overcome any problems that I face.

"Sports psychologist (Fred Tan) will be coming along to the China and Hong Kong Opens to help me in my mental preparations."

Lee had the perfect warm-up for the two tournaments by winning the Johor Open. He hopes to translate that good form on to the international scene. Last year, he reached the finals of the China Open and Hong Kong Open.

"I was the finalist in these two tournaments last year and I want to at least maintain these results to boost my world ranking points," said Chong Wei.

The China Open may also finally see the return of Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan to the circuit,

Lin has yet to play a tournament since he beat Lee in the Olympic final in Beijing. However, there is a strong chance that the world number two would line-up for the China Open.

It means that Lee will have a tough time trying to win the tournament in one of the strongest fields to be assembled since the Olympics.

Other players expected to take part are Denmark's Peter Gade, South Korean Park Sung-hwan and Chen Jin, of China.

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