Taufik: Chong Wei needs more mental strength

Former world champion Taufik Hidayat says Lee Chong Wei should work on his mental strength if he is to become Malaysia's first ever badminton gold medalist at the Olympic Games in Brazil next year.

According to the Indonesian former Olympic champion, Chong Wei remains on par with the best players in the world and despite being 33 years of age, he has a chance of triumphing in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

"Just like me before, the whole of Indonesia was hoping and expecting me to win the gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Therefore I feel Chong Wei needs to beef up his mental strength," Taufik is quoted as saying by Bernama.

"Next year will be his final chance. To me, in Indonesia or Malaysia, badminton is the number one sport."

The Indonesian legend says that his country is facing the same problem as Malaysia – they're next generation of men's shuttlers aren't quite of the same quality as their predecessors.

"We have a programme for men's singles players but it has to go through a long process. Luckily we have good doubles and mixed doubles players," the former world number one continued.

Just like Malaysia, football gets more attention than other sports, including badminton.

"Badminton needs a quantum leap in South East Asia because we do not want to see the region without a representative in the Olympics. At least now we have Datuk Lee Chong Wei."