KUALA LUMPUR: "We must retune ourselves, if we want to have any chance of doing well at the Thomas Cup and Asian Games this year."
This was stated by former World No 1 Lee Chong Wei, upon arriving at KLIA2 on Tuesday, following the national badminton team's outing at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Having won two gold medals - one short of the targeted three, Chong Wei admitted that the team need to buck up, especially with major tournaments such as the Thomas Cup in Bangkok next month and the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
"It was a waste that we did not win the mixed team gold (lost 3-1 to India in the final), and we couldn't match our achievement of four years ago, when we won three gold medals in Glasgow.
“We won two gold medals this time, but I think we had expected to do well in men's doubles and mixed doubles.
"I think it is important for us to forget this Commonwealth Games and start looking forward to the other majors this year. It's not an easy year, but we have to train hard to try and get better results for the future," said Chong Wei, who also lost in the men's singles match of the mixed team final.
When asked if the Commonwealth Games result would affect the team's morale ahead of the Thomas Cup, Chong Wei said: “The Thomas Cup and Commonwealth Games are two different tournaments. I know the BAM have yet to finalise the squad, but we roughly know who the first three singles are.
"As the most senior player in the squad, I will try to help my team by encouraging them to boost their spirit ahead of the tournament. It's not easy to win all the time, but we must try by giving our best."
For the Thomas Cup, Malaysia are in Group D, along with defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria.
At the Commonwealth Games, the Malaysian badminton squad had to settle for two gold medals through Chong Wei (men's singles), Vivian Hoo-Chow Mei Kuan (women's doubles), one silver through the mixed team and two bronze through men's doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
Chong Wei's next assignment will be the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China on April 24-29.