Lee Chong Wei
Lee Chong Wei is one of the most successful and consistent badminton players in the history of the sport.
|Best BWF World Ranking||: 1|
|Date of Birth||: October 21, 1982|
|Specialty||: Footwork, Defence, Agility|
As of December 2011, Lee Chong Wei has not yet won a major badminton title such as the Olympic Games or the Badminton World Championship’s title.
However, he has maintained his BWF world no.1 ranking status for almost 3 years. No badminton player in history had ever stayed at the no.1 rank for such a long time.
The Malaysian is known as one of the most consistent badminton player of all time.
In 2011, he reached the finals of every tournament he played, except for 2 Super Series events where he was defeated by Lin Dan in the semi finals in both occasions.
He plans to retire in 2012. Therefore, he will have his final shot at the London Olympics Gold title and the Badminton World Championships title in 2012.
The badminton skills of this player have improved significantly over the years. In 2011, he became almost invincible in the badminton world. Other than Lin Dan and Chen Long, no other badminton player could defeat him.
Chong Wei’s greatest opponent is definitely Lin Dan!
In his quest for major titles, Lin Dan had always stood in his way. Lin Dan was always present in the finals of every major tournament to destroy the Malaysian’s dream.
A good example is the 2008 Beijing Olympics final and the Badminton World Championship in 2011, where Lin Dan stood strong in the final to prevent Lee Chong Wei from taking the gold.
As such, the rivalry against Lin Dan gets more intense each time they meet in badminton tournaments. These 2 men knew each other so well, that they both need to do more than their very “best”.
Apart from Lin Dan, Chong Wei has no problem defeating any singles player during the peak of his career in 2011.
Younger and talented badminton players such as Chen Long and Kenichi Tago are also good opponents. They occasionally put heavy pressure on Lee but are still not good enough to beat him.
Style of Play
At the beginning of his career, he played a very defensive game. The Malaysian became famous because of his extraordinary badminton defence in badminton singles.
When he started off his career, he wasn’t willing to take risks in performing attacks. As such he was clearing/lobbing the shuttle more often than his opponents, teasing his opponents to attack.
New Skills & New Playing Style
Not long after he attained his world no.1 rank in badminton singles, he started to play like a world class champion. He started using deceptive badminton shots.
However, there were still a couple of weaknesses in Lee’s style of play. He continued playing a defensive game. His deceptions were passive, strong opponents like Lin Dan easily read his deceptive shots.
In 2011, he improved significantly and he was up to the standards of a true world class badminton player.
By looking at how he performed in 2011, it was hard to believe that Chong Wei did not hold any major badminton titles.
He had more variations in his deceptions. Instead of playing a passive and defensive game, he suddenly started playing an aggressive game in 2011. He also played at a higher pace.
As of 2011, we could see quicker injection of pace and variations of pace in Chong Wei’s games.
As a defensive singles player, he initially played like a “crouching tiger”. Soon after, he changed his style by taking risks in his games and attacked more often.
With his speed, attacks were successful against his opponents. He managed to outpace his opponents and attack them off-guard.
Lee Chong Wei is now an almost perfect badminton player. Technically, only Lin Dan can defeat him.
However, he still lacks the confidence when facing Lin Dan. Most importantly, Chong Wei’s LUCK does not help either. Yes, luck played a role in their encounters.
The Malaysian is famous with his defence in singles.
It is almost impossible to penetrate his defence unless one could move faster than him.
Badminton is played at such high intensity these days. World class badminton players of today are trained to attack (smash towards) the sidelines of the badminton court. When the perfect opportunity arises, many singles players can perform accurate smashes towards the singles sidelines.
However, Lee Chong Wei is extremely good in diving towards the sidelines to retrieve his opponent’s smashes. Lee Chong Wei is the ONLY badminton player who can ever perform 2 consecutive dives. I’ll show you what I mean in the video below.
The videos above show him performing 2 consecutive badminton dives.
Remarkable Balance and Footwork
It is normal to see world class players diving to retrieve their opponents’ smashes.
However, the consequence of diving towards the sidelines is that the dive will make them lose a high degree of balance. It makes it harder for them to get back into position to defend the next shot.
Lee Chong Wei is the only person to date who can perform 2 dives to retrieve 2 consecutive smashes. After performing one dive, he is extremely quick in getting back up and moving back to his footwork base.
You’ll need a high level of fitness and agile movement to do this!
Alertness & Reaction
Other than diving to retrieve smashes, Lee Chong Wei’s quick reaction is amazing to watch. The videos below show some examples of his badminton defence.
Lee Chong Wei’s talent is the reason for his solid defence, but it is also the high intensity training that contributes to his good defence.
Take a look at the video below if you’re interested to watch the world no.1 training for defence.
In the video above, he was required to defend against 3 players. 2 players from behind will perform the smashes while one player at the front court will hit spinning net shots.
He was NOT ALLOWED to attack in this training. All he could do was lift the shuttle and defend against the attacks.
If you are interested, you can watch more videos here
Tell me what you think!
What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.