When Lee Chong Wei takes the court for the Mumbai Masters on Saturday, a sense of déjà vu is likely to engulf the world No 1 The Kanteerava indoor stadium is the only Indian Badminton League (IBL) venue that is lacks an air-conditioning system.
With the world watching, Chong Wei was fighting to be crowned world champion for the first time earlier this month. But a switched-off air conditioning did not allow that to happen.
Down 16-19 in the decider against Lin Dan, Chong Wei was forced on his haunches in Guangzhou before retiring at 17-21 in the final game, thus allowing Dan to retain the crown.
After the defeat in the final, Malaysian national coach Tey Seu Bock had ripped apart the organisers for switching off the air conditioning. “A defeat is a defeat. I can accept it but I cannot tolerate the organisers switching off the air conditioner in the second game,” he was quoted as saying.
“It was so hot inside... This is not right. The players were suffering. At one point, Chong Wei was struggling to breathe,” Bock added.