BAM open to Chong Wei pulling out of Malaysian Open

Last update: 13/03/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Bernama) -- The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are keeping an open mind should national ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei want to pull out from the Celcom Axiata Malaysian Open, scheduled to be held at the Axiata Arena from April 2-7.

BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist would need to get a permission letter from his doctor before he would be allowed to compete in the US$700,000 (RM2.862 million) tournament.

“I was told that he would need a letter of permission from the doctor treating him next week, so we will wait and see. As we have said before, his health is the most important thing.

“Ticket sales for the Malaysian Open have been quite brisk, maybe because fans want to see Chong Wei back in action. Still, we must be fair to him because we want him to get back to his old self,” he said.

Norza, who is also the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, said this at a press conference after chairing the 11th OCM executive board members’ meeting for the 2018-2021 term, here, today

Chong Wei, 36, laid off badminton for eight months after undergoing treatment for nasal cancer in Taiwan.

Based on the draw released on Tuesday, 12-time Malaysian Open champion Chong Wei, who is unseeded, is set to face India’s No. 1 K. Srikanth in the first round.

Other big names in his half of the draw are reigning All-England champion and top seed Kento Momota of Japan, China’s Rio Olympic Games champion Chen Long, Indonesia’s Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie and former world champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Penangite Chong Wei won the Malaysian Open in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018.