Malaysia’s world badminton No. 1 Lee Chong-wei overcame the shock resignation of his coach to outlast Kenichi Tago of Japan 23-21, 21-17, in the Japan Open final Sunday.
Rashid Sidek, who was not in Tokyo, resigned on Thursday as Malaysia’s singles coach.
Sidek reportedly accused the Badminton Association of Malaysia over their treatment of national coaches following a recent management shake-up.
“As a matter of course, this news had some impact on my performance mentally. It left me somewhat depressed,” Lee said through an interpreter after taking 55 minutes to tame Tago at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Lee had been forced to survive three game points in the first stanza.
“He (Rashid) is a fellow and coach with whom I have worked together for 10 years. Therefore, I feel very sorry that he is leaving.”