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 Chon Wei reaches top spot for the first time

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PostSubject: Chon Wei reaches top spot for the first time   Wed 5 Jul à 10:58

Chong Wei reaches top spot for first time
02/07/06, 00:53:54

BY RAJES PAUL



PETALING JAYA: Lee Chong Wei has done it. The top national shuttler is now the official world number one men's singles player.

In the latest International Badminton Federation (IBF) released on Thursday, the three-time Malaysian Open champion Chong Wei has moved one rung to the top spot in the world.

China's formidable player Lin Dan, who had reigned as the world number one for three years, is currently at the second spot. Denmark's Peter Gade-Christensen, who was number one last week, fell to third spot.

Chong Wei is the fourth Malaysian ahuttler to reach the world number one spot since the world rankings was introduced in the early 90s. The others are Rashid Sidek (1997), Mohd Roslin Hashim (2001) and Wong Choong Hann (2003). But all of them held on to the spot for a brief period.

The 24-year-old Chong Wei was understandably ecstatic.

“I have waited for this moment for a long time. Finally, I am the world number one player and it feels good. My target was to reach the number one spot this year and I have done it,” said a delighted Chong Wei.

However, he wants to justify his new status by winning this year's World Championships to be held in Madrid from Sept 18-24.

“It is nice to be the world number one. But it will be greater if I can win the world title this year and prove that I am truly the world's number one player. And that is my immediate goal now,” he said.

Besides the recent Malaysian Open title, Chong Wei also won the Swiss Open, Commonwealth Games singles gold in Melbourne and reached the All-England semi-finals.

Chong Wei will now compete in two Open tournaments in Macau (July 19-23) and South Korea (Aug 21-27), to maintain his world ranking.

“I am glad that the coaches have decided to field me for the Macau Open. This tournament clashes with the Malacca Open. It is compulsory for all national players to compete in the local tournament but fortunately, I have been exempted, he said.

“Now, I aim to reach the Macau Open final to retain my number one spot.

“It will not be easy to stay at the top. All will be gunning for my scalp. But this means, I will just have to work extra hard to maintain my position,” he added.

National chief coach Yap Kim Hock gave due credit to Chong Wei and hoped the Penangite would not drop out of the top two spots in the world prior to the world meet.

“Chong Wei is a hardworking player and has been consistently producing good results. The seeding for the world meet will be decided after the Hong Kong Open (Aug 28-Sept 2). I want him to remain in the top two spot until then. It is important for Chong Wei and Lin Dan to be in the different half of the draw for the world meet so that they will only meet in the final,” he added.

Meanwhile, in the men's doubles, three Malaysian pairs remained in the top eight with Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat occupying the third spot and followed by Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui (4th) and Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (7th).

Courtesy of The Star Online

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