Despite his achievements and his legendary status in the annals of badminton, World No. 1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei will mostly be remembered as the second best of an era dominated by China’s Lin Dan.
Whenever it has mattered, Chong Wei has ended up losing to Lin Dan. Be it the 2012 Olympics final or the World Championships title round, Chong Wei had to be content with the silver medal.
‘Super Dan’ has a 22-9 win-loss record against Chong Wei.
Chong Wei’s coach, Tey Seu Bock, said on Monday here that “Lin Dan is mentally tough” when asked why his ward lost more often to Lin Dan.
“Each and every time Lin Dan comes up with good results. He has won every medal that has to be won. Lee Chong Wei wins other tournaments. The way Lin Dan thinks is different. It is in the mind,” he said.
Asked if Chong Wei has a mental block while facing his nemesis, Bock said: “No. There is no mental block. Lee Chong Wei is also mentally tough. But you cannot make anyone mentally strong. It is like producing different cars. Basically, cars are the same but have different engines, performances, etc.”
When Chong Wei was asked the same question on Monday, the Mumbai Masters icon player refused to answer saying he would take questions only on the Indian Badminton League.
“Past is past. I don’t want to talk about World Championships,” the 30-year-old Malaysian said.
Coach Bock added that Chong Wei “faces a lot of pressure from the country to win”.
“We have to deal with a lot of pressure. He is World No. 1 and wants to win. Malaysia is a small country compared to China.
There is nobody after Lee Chong Wei. It is difficult to produce another Lee Chong Wei. The Lin Dan-Lee Chong Wei rivalry is limited edition,” he said.
Asked how he trains Chong Wei before major tournaments, Bock said: “I have to also do my homework, study the opponents. China worries a lot about Lee Chong Wei. We also have specialists like nutritionists, sports scientists, etc working on different aspects of a player but I don’t work with them. My job is on the court. I don’t know Lee Chong Wei outside the court.”
Asked about India’s shuttlers, Bock said: “It is easier for me to train Indian shuttlers because they are of the same level. Indian players are much better now than before. There are six to seven players who are there at the top.”