SPEED DEMON: World No 1 could well have made his mark in sprints if he had not taken up badmintonLIN Dan, eat your heart out. Lee Chong Wei may have played second fiddle to the China ace on many occasions, but the World No 1 is definitely better on the track in spikes.
The two-time All England champion’s off court training has caught the attention of local athletes at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Bukit Jalil.
And many are comparing his abilities on the track with national 100m champion Izzuddin Yahya, who has a personal best of 10.61 seconds.
“Chong Wei would have been a sprinter had he not taken up badminton. He is truly an all-round sportsman,” said former national tennis coach S. Selvarajoo at NSI yesterday.
“He is exceptionally fast in the 100m and 200m on the track and sometimes, others, even those from other sports, can’t keep up with his speed.
“He can continuously do short sprints for more than an hour.”
“Chong Wei does not get tired. I’m dumbfounded as I’ve never seen a national athlete train like him.
“He must be extremely fit. I suppose he is strict with his fitness and training.”
Selvarajoo, a former national No 1, accompanies his daughter, S. Theiviya, for physical conditioning at NSI on week days.
He wants his daughter, who plays in the International Tennis Federation circuit, to replicate Chong Wei’s training regime and also emulate his sporting success.
“Despite being the World No 1, Chong Wei is humble and jovial. He always greets me when I am with my daughter in the gym.”
Selvarajoo noted that Chong Wei attracts attention in the gym as he trains differently, compared to other athletes.
“He trains diligently and listens to his trainers. He has never had a bad day at the gym. He strictly does his workouts before ending his session with abdominal exercises.”
The national shuttlers reported to camp on Sunday to prepare for the Thomas and Uber Cups.
Read more: Chong Wei wows ’em on the track - Badminton - New Straits Times