WORLDS 2013 R32 – Top seed through

Lee Chong Wei, men’s singles top seed at the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championships stumbled but refused to fall as he fought back from a game down to […]

Lee Chong Wei, men’s singles top seed at the Wang Lao Ji BWF World Badminton Championships stumbled but refused to fall as he fought back from a game down to beat Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Guangzhou.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Lee Chong Wei’s fans – and indeed everyone hoping to see an epic final between him and either Chen Long or Lin Dan – breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he finally pulled off his come-from-behind victory over Indonesia’s Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (pictured below).  The Malaysian star then took the time to give some thoughtful answers to the media’s questions in his post-match press conference.

Hayom had to contend with flashes of brilliance from Lee Chong Wei throughout the first game but he also put all of his own expertise on display and remained the more consistent as he marched to the convincing 21-14 win.  The Malaysian built up a commanding 19-12 lead in the second game but allowed his opponent to climb back to within two before putting it away and tying the match at a game apiece.

Lee Chong Wei found another gear late in the third game and he erased all doubt about his form by winning it 21-11.  Lee thus refused to be tripped up by the sort of jinx that has seen him eliminated from 3 of the past four by Indonesian opponents.

Lee Chong Wei, however, denied that it was some shadow of doubt that caused him to have so much trouble against an opponent against whom he had previously enjoyed only five straight wins, most of them in straight games:  “Actually, if you hadn’t pointed it out, I wouldn’t even have noticed,” said Lee in his post-match interview.

“Actually, I didn’t expect that my opponent would be able to perform so well today. After he showed his strong competitive ability, I couldn’t find my pace, especially in the first game.  In the second, I still hadn’t got back my confidence but in the third game when I was up 11-8, I finally had it back.

“I think today’s match is very important for me because it’s only the second round but I think it can help me get prepared for the later rounds.”

Asked about the effect on his fitness, Lee Chong Wei replied, “For all the big tournaments, every match is tough.  Before you can win a championship, you have to go through about 6 matches, all of them tough and based on my history of playing Indonesian players, most of the matches have been tough.  So today has been a reminder that I have to get more prepared for the coming matches so I can perform better.”

“Definitely it will be a big change,” Lee replied, when asked about the effect being a new husband and father would have on his life.  “Wherever I go, I always think about my wife and my baby and especially before these World Championships, there were about 10 days of very intense training in Hong Kong and I could have chosen not to go but we have to go there. All the way here, I have been keeping in touch with my wife and she was supposed to come here to Guangzhou but because the baby was sick, she had to stay with the baby but we have been keeping in touch every day.”

Lee Chong Wei was also asked to comment on a recent comment by rival Lin Dan (pictured), who won his second round match against Eric Pang in straight games.  Lin had told the press that when his wife Xie Xingfang is doing commentary on his match, he hopes she has some good things to say about her husband.

On the kind of communication between him and his wife, former top Malaysian women’s singles player Wong Mew Choo, Lee said: “For every successful man, there will always be a caring woman behind him. In my family, it is kind of similar to Lin Dan’s family.  My wife also used to be a professional athlete and she really understands me so even if there is some problem at home, she will hide it from me so that it won’t be bad for my training so I think she is a very caring supporter.”

Lee Chong Wei will now have to rest up for his third round match against the winner between Wang Zhengming and Vladimir Ivanov.

Click here for complete Round of 32 results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @