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‘Conditions in India extremely tough’

india Updated: Aug 04, 2009 22:58 IST
Anupma Tripathi

Bronze was his best effort at the World Championships four years ago. A silver at the Beijing Olympics last year has been his best show in a mega event. Since then, he has been the world's number one shuttler.

The tag comes with expectations but Lee Chong Wei vows he is ready for the challenge. He wants to beat Lin Dan and win his maiden World Championships gold in Hyderabad. And this time he is not taking any chances with the stomach bug, either.

During the Indian Open in March at Hyderabad, Wie was down with food poisoning and lost in the first round. "That was really bad," he recollects, and adds, "Playing in India is always tough." This time, a cook is accompanying the Malaysian team.

The 25-year-old reveals his plans to HT:

All set for the championships?

I have put in a lot of effort in my training and am hoping for the best.

Last time you were down with food poisoning. Are you scared?

It was really bad. The conditions were not very good and I had requested the authorities to improve it. Hope this time will be better.

Your take on Indians.

I have heard about Saina Nehwal. She won the Indonesian Open. The girl is going great guns. Indian shuttlers have been doing well on the circuit, specially, Anup (Sridhar) and Chetan (Anand).

Your toughest opponent?

Lin Dan. As always, it will be tough to play against him but I have prepared for the challenge.

Are you up to the challenge?

Last time we met in the Swiss Open final, I defeated Lin. He is a very good attacker. It's difficult to contain him, but one has to try.

Your plan this time…

Commit as few errors as possible. This time I am more confident of reaching the final. Earlier, I used to commit mistakes during crucial points. I used to succumb to pressure as well. I have been working on this since last year.

Why did you train in Seoul?

I wanted to focus. The draw was out and the media was trying to reach me. I wanted to train peacefully because those two weeks will be critical.