Chong Wei goes down in opener, pulls out from tournament due to injury  
Published on 12/12/2012     Source : Malaysia The Star

What could have been an auspicious day - 12-12-12 - turned out otherwise for Lee Chong Wei.

His bid to regain his World Super Series Finals crown in Shenzhen was dashed after he lost his opening group match to China's world number seven Du Pengyu and subsequently pulled out, citing a right thigh injury.

The current world number one was expected to coast through after taking the first game easily.

But his lack of preparation for the Super Series finale event after getting married last month was laid bare as a stubborn Du Pengyu, cheered on by the local crowd, carved out a 12-21, 21-16, 22-20 win in 65 minutes.

Pengyu collapsed to the ground in sheer joy as if he had won the title and he had a reason to celebrate as this was the first time he had overcome the Malaysian after losing all six previous meetings.

It was not so much the pain of losing his unbeaten record but Chong Wei, still catching his breath after the long rallies, revealed he was nursing a right thigh injury.

Chong Wei later pulled out of the tournament after discussing with coach Tey Seu Bock and thus giving up the chance to win a fourth Super Series Finals title.

Team manager Jeremy Gan confirmed that they had submitted a letter to the organisers to officially inform on the withdrawal of the top seed.

"I am not in good condition as I had a leg injury coming here. I wanted to skip this tournament in the first place as I just got married last month. I wanted to take a longer break and just get ready for the Korean Open and Malaysian Open next month.

"But I would have to pay a fine of US$5,000 (RM15,000) if I hadn't come here. In this sport, you will not be in top condition if you do not focus in training.

"I will return home and hopefully recover to play in the Korean Open and Malaysian Open," said Chong Wei, who was the winner of the event from 2008 to 2010 but lost to Chen Long of China in the semis in Liuzhou last year.

Chong Wei's withdrawal left Pengyu in a strong position to reach the last four and he only needs to beat Hu Yun of Hong Kong in his second Group A match today.

The top two finishers from each group advance to the crossover semi-finals.

Chong Wei felt it would be better not to continue if he was unable to give his best.

"It has been a long season and everyone is just tired. I have been playing events every month after the Olympics.

"Lin Dan (who did not qualify for the Super Series Finals) never played after the Olympics as he went on a long break for his wedding but I did not have this choice.

"I try not to pressure myself here as I know I am not in a condition to play to my best," he added.


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