Top man Lee under pressure
World number one set gold target for Sea Games after World Championships flop.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2009 06:57 GMT

Number one not enough: Malaysia want more from their star man [GALLO/GETTY]
Malaysia's badminton chiefs are demanding world number one Lee Chong Wei atones for his disappointing World Championships flop and returns home from December's Southeast Asian Games with gold.

The country's badminton association (BAM) sent only a second-string team to the 2007 Games but has recalibrated its focus for this year's event in Laos and will accept nothing but success from their star player.

"BAM has set a two-gold target and Chong Wei is obviously one of our strong bets to win in Laos," singles head coach Rashid Sidek said on Thursday.

"(He) hasn't been successful in the major events and he can start by winning the regional gold.

"Winning the Sea Games men's singles gold is a reputable success and Chong Wei must not miss the chance."

Last-eight loss

Lee was beaten by Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro, a twice Sea Games winner, in the quarter-finals of last month's World Championships in Hyderabad.

He will be up against him again in Laos along with other dangermen former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh and Thai Boonsak Ponsana.

Lee does not shoulder the nation's hopes on his own, however.

Great things are also expected of doubles pairing Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.

"Winning the World Championships was their target but they can make amends by securing the Sea Games gold," doubles coach Rosman Razak said.

"Their challenge will come from (Olympic champions) Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan who are expected to return to competition soon."

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.