PRIORITY: Chong Wei's immediate focus is on comeback not winning gold
WINNING Olympic gold is not the priority at the moment as Lee Chong Wei, who had been fearful at one stage that his ankle injury would end his career, said his main objective is to compete in the London Games next month.
Chong Wei, who started court training this week with just light skills, said he was mentally down when he suffered the injury and had even entertained thoughts of retiring.
However, the player said he has managed to overcome all negative thoughts and his goal is to prepare as best as possible to compete in London but felt it was too early to think about winning gold. The good news is that Chong Wei is able to do jumping smashes but he is apprehensive about court movement as he fears aggravating the ankle injury.
"I have started training this week and I have been doing track running since last week. I am improving and my objective now is to prepare as best as possible to compete in my third Olympics," said Chong Wei.
He said the last few weeks have been extremely stressful.
"There were times I even thought about giving up when the pain increased or when I was alone. However, encouragement from my friends and coaches helped me overcome these thoughts and I psyched myself to continue with rehabilitation and training.
"I also called Fred Tan, who used to be my mental trainer, for advice but it may be a little too late to have a psychologist to work with me because time is short.
"What is important is for me to overcome the phobia. I have not fully overcome that but I am improving. I hope I can fully recover and give 100 per cent in London.
"Talking about winning gold, or medals for that matter, is still too early as I am still undergoing rehab and there is a lot to do.
"I will be joining the rest of the team for training at the University of Bath (starting July 12) as I feel I will be more focused there. National Sports Institute (NSI) staff will be there to help me. Players for sparring will also be available."
Physiotherapist Sandra Fiedler and physical trainer Roesdi Ghai will accompany the team to Bath while Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and Chan Kwong Beng will spar with Chong Wei during the two-week stint.
Chong Wei also felt the change of format, where the players will be involved in group matches before the knockout stage, will work in his favour as the preliminary matches will help him get the feel of the tournament at Wembley Arena.
"I would have preferred the knockout system had I not been injured but the group stage will help my cause. I will be going without much match practice and the group matches will help me get the tournament feeling before I meet stronger opponents in the knockout stage."