NATIONAL singles coach Tey Seu Bock believes that Lee Chong Wei's decision to concede the All England final after losing the first match 21-19 and trailing 2-6 in the second due to a shoulder injury, was a wise one as the player's quest to win Olympic gold in July is more important than an All England hat-trick.
In a telephone interview from Birmingham, Seu Bock said the injury came as a surprise as Chong Wei did not complain of such problem in earlier matches or in training but it was wise to take precaution rather than risk inflaming it in Sunday's final against China's Lin Dan, who thus secured his fifth All England title.
"Chong Wei woke up on Saturday morning complaining of a slight pain to his right shoulder but he went on to beat Lee Hyun Il (of South Korea) in the semi-finals later in the day.
"But it got worse despite physiotherapy sessions and treatment. It was pointless to take a gamble," said Seu Bock.
"If Chong Wei had persisted, there was a strong possibility the injury could have got worse and this will affect his build-up to the Olympics.
"It's a pity he couldn't complete the hat-trick but Chong Wei is still an All England champion. The bigger picture is the Olympics where he must be fully prepared and fit to go for gold."
Seu Bock added: "Lin Dan was also in good form and Chong Wei needed to be at his best to beat him on Sunday. There is little he could do as he was even struggling to lift his shoulder while executing his strokes.
"He is not going to play in the Swiss Open which begins tomorrow (today) and will return to Kuala Lumpur to go for an MRI to identify the extent of the injury.
"He may not play in the earlier matches of the Axiata Cup (on April 23-25) but could be fielded later depending on his recovery."
Understandably, Chong Wei was frustrated with the way his campaign ended but there was little he could do due to the injury.
"I am very disappointed at what happened," he said. "I had the shoulder injury earlier, but I didn't want to disappoint the crowd, so I came to play anyway.
"But when I felt the pain getting worse, I didn't want to push the shoulder any more."
Lin Dan was not surprised that Chong Wei conceded the match as he felt his rival would have been concerned about the Olympics.
"I am very sorry for Chong Wei. We have played against each other for almost 10 years since we were juniors and we are very familiar with each other's game. We have no secrets," said Lin Dan.
"The countdown is now on (till the end of their careers) and we don't know how many more times we will play each other, so we cherish each time.
"With the Olympics approaching maybe he made the right decision."
Lin Dan had announced after Sunday's victory that he is waiting to play Chong Wei in the Olympics.
Chong Wei's injury doesn't look serious at the moment. He has sufficient time to recover as he is only expected to play in just four tournaments ahead of the Olympics in July.
Chong Wei is expected to spend a few days in Basel before returning to KL later in the week.