NST
28 Apr 2006

LEE Chong Wei is prepared — mentally, physically and tactically — to carry Malaysia's challenge in the Thomas Cup Finals which start today.

Chong Wei, 24, who will be playing the first singles, knows that the team will be banking on him to go out and win the first point in all of his matches.

"I have prepared well for this tournament. I will take all of my matches seriously as I am determined to keep my 100 per cent record of winning all of my matches this year in team events intact," said a fired-up Chong Wei at the Aoba Gymnasium in Sendai yesterday.

Chong Wei, the World No 2, has not lost in this year's team competitions. He delivered the first point in all of his matches at the Thomas Cup qualifiers in Jaipur, India, and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Although this will be his first time playing as the first singles for Malaysia in the Thomas Cup, Chong Wei is not feeling the jitters.

"I am fired-up for the challenge. I just want to do my best for the team and country," said the Penang-born player, who was a reserve in the Jakarta Finals two years ago.

Asked about the minor back injury he suffered during training in Kuching last week, he said he was not feeling any pain or discomfort.

If Malaysia progress, Chong Wei will find some of the world’s best singles players awaiting him along the way — players like China’s Lin Dan, Peter Gade-Christensen of Denmark, Indonesia’s Olympic and world champion Taufik Hidayat and Lee Hyun-il of South Korea.