After waiting for 11 years, and keeping his love life private, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei is finally ready to tie the knot with Wong Mew Choo on Nov 10 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
And yesterday Chong Wei, who will turn 30 on Oct 21, finally opened up a little to reveal that it was Mew Choo’s patience that won his heart.
“I’ve known Mew Choo since my junior days and we’ve been in and out of relationship for the last 11 years. Of course, there have been misunderstandings but she has always stood by me,” said Chong Wei.
“She knew me and liked me even when I was a nobody ... and she has not changed. She has waited for me for a long time and I decided that it was time to marry her. She is one patient woman and I like that quality in her.”
The wedding plan very nearly came undone when Mew Choo’s grandmother passed away recently.
According to Chinese custom, they have to be married within 100 days of the funeral or wait for another three years.
“We discussed it and decided to make early plans for the wedding. I will be too old if I wait for another three years!” he quipped.
Chong Wei and Mew Choo, the country’s top woman singles shuttler until she retired recently, spent three-hours in a photo-shoot at the Sepang Gold Coast Palm Tree Resort.
Asked whether his decision to tie the knot will leave many of his female fans heartbroken, he burst into laughter: “I am looking forward to my marriage with Mew Choo but I don’t think I’ll lose my fans when I end my bachelorhood. I have many fans but they like me for my skills in badminton. I guess that won’t change.”
Chong Wei is expecting a huge turnout for his wedding reception.
In fact, he plans to celebrate his marriage over two days.
On Nov 9, his guests will be all the dignitaries and when the official ceremony takes place on Nov 10, his guests will consist of close friends.
“I have a long list of friends but I am not sure whether they will turn up. The China Open is from Nov 13-18 and is too close to the wedding. In fact, I have not decided whether I will compete in the Super Series event,” he said.
With the China Open just two days after his wedding, it is not clear if members of Chinese team, including Lin Dan and his wife Xie Xingfang, will show up for Chong Wei’s special day.
Chong Wei said the wedding preparations have kept him busy but that he’s doing fine with his juggling act. He will leave for China today to compete in the 12-team local league over the weekend.
Chong Wei plays for Team ZheJiang and the others in his mixed side are Huang Yuxiang; women’s singles Wang Lin, Zhou Hui; men’s doubles Xu Chen-Sang Yang, Wang Sijie-Guo Ziyu; women’s doubles Zhang Yawen, Li Xiao and Huang Ya Qiong.
“I enjoy competing in the China League as it provides me with quality sparring as well. China have plenty of talents and there are no easy matches. There are also some players from Denmark and Indonesia and this makes the league quite unique and interesting,” he said.
After the China League, Chong Wei will head straight to Odense for the Denmark Open, which starts on Wednesday.