ALOR STAR: World No 2 Lee Chong Wei believes the positive outcome at the recent Asia Team Championships will inspire the national team at the Thomas Cup in Bangkok in May.
Chong Wei said his team showed great fighting qualities to qualify on merit for the Thomas Cup by winning a bronze medal at the Asia Team event.
However, he noted that they need to prepare well in order to make an impact in Bangkok.
Chong Wei did not play in the 3-1 defeat to China in the semi-finals as the national coaches wanted their inexperienced shuttlers to get a feel of playing a tough opponent at the Asia Team meet.
"We had a discussion with coaches Misbun Sidek and Hendrawan prior to the semi-finals and it was decided then that it would be best to play Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Soong Joo Ven in the singles matches.
“It was a strategy to help them experience the feeling of playing against good teams,” said Chong Wei.
The 36-year-old said the outcome in the Asia Team event will definitely motivate his teammates for the Thomas Cup.
“We still have to play in upcoming tournaments such as the All England and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games before we shift our focus on the Thomas Cup.
“Although, it will not be easy, we will try our best to be a strong contender at the Thomas Cup.
Chong Wei’s next tournament is the All England in Birmingham (on March 14-18).