HE doesn’t have it now but what Lee Chong Wei would like to have is the character to become a world champion, hopefully by 2007.
And there was no better person than newly-crowned World champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia to show the path in Anaheim over the weekend.
Taufik’s single-mindedness and the desire to win enabled him to become the first shuttler to win the men’s singles gold in the Olympics and the World title.
Chong Wei was beaten by the Indonesian in the semi-final in Anaheim and the former knew then why Taufik is a special player.
I may have lost to him but Taufik had taught me a valuable lesson. One needs to be single-minded and must have the desire to win major events like the Olympics and the World Champions, said Chong Wei upon his arrival from Anaheim at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday.
He was so focused and performed like a champion. I may have won the Malaysia Open but it meant nothing as I can’t perform in major events.
I must be strong mentally and need the character to perform on big stage.
Reaching the semi-final is a small step but I need to work harder and become a consistent performer on the international arena.
I have targeted the 2007 World Championship crown but first, I need to have the character of a champion, like Taufik.
Although Chong Wei defeated Taufik, 24, easily en route to his second Malaysia Open title two months ago, the Indonesian showed his pedigree when it mattered.
And the success was not achieved overnight. Taufik announced at the 1997 Malaysia Open that his ultimate goals were the Olympic gold and the World Championship crown.
On the other hand, Chong Wei only targeted a semi-final spot in Anaheim, and that was as far as he got.