Lee Chong Wei has expressed his desire to represent Malaysia at the Thomas Cup Finals in Kunshan, China in May.
Chong Wei was not picked to play at the Asia Team Championships, the qualifying event for the Thomas Cup Finals, next month in Hyderabad, India.
Instead of picking Chong Wei, who was the most successful Malaysian shuttler last year with five titles, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) opted to choose a younger squad.
However, even if Malaysia fail to finish in the top four at the Asia Team Championships, they will still qualify for the Thomas Cup Finals based on the fact that they sit in sixth place on the world rankings.
With Malaysia set to compete at Thomas Cup Finals either way, Chong Wei has vowed to be part of the squad.
“For the qualifier, it would be better to let the younger players take part in order to gain exposure,” Chong Wei was quoted as saying by Berita Harian. “They can’t keep relying on me to play in every championship. It was the right decision for BAM to list down the younger players.
“However, I will still be playing in the Thomas Cup finals because we have already qualified based on the ranking. The Thomas Cup will be a preparation for me to play in the Rio Olympics this year.
“I hope that the younger players selected will make use of this opportunity to prove their strength and ability.”
Meanwhile, Chong Wei will begin his 2016 campaign at the Malaysia Masters in Penang on Thursday and will take on Indonesia’s Firki Ihsa Hadmadi in the first round.