SHAH ALAM, April 7 — World number one shuttler Chen Long claimed that conditions at the Malawati Stadium, venue of the Malaysia Open Badminton Championship was not as bad as reported.
Despite the many complaints about the drift, Chen Long felt comfortable playing and had no problems defeating his second round opponent Vincent Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong, 21-17, 21-12, here today.
"The table tennis players (China's players) had told me that the Stadium was in very bad condition...but when I came here, I felt that it was not as bad as they told me before," said Chen Long.
The Malawati Stadium which was used as the venue for the World Table Tennis Championship recently had received complaints about its condition from China's top players while top shuttlers had also voiced their concern yesterday.
Yesterday, players like two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lin Dan, world women's doubles champions Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang and one half of former world champions Fu Haifeng, all from China, had questioned the facilities provided at the stadium, especially the warm up court.
Apart from water leaking on the court from an air conditioning system, players questioned the lack of space for warm up.Chen Long will meet his compatriot, Tian Houwei in the quarterfinal.
Tian Houwei, who is the third men's single player from China beat Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan 23-21, 21-18 in the second round today to set up a date with his more illustrious countryman.
"Houwei is not an easy opponent for me. I will have to be at my very best to win tomorrow," said the defending champion who is eyeing his second Malaysia Open title.
Meanwhile, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) assured that the problems that occurred during the tournament would not affect the assessment of organising the 2018 Malaysia Open.
Malaysia has two years to fulfill the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) requirement to host the next Malaysia Open Super Series.
"Clearly, measures have been taken. It's not the first measure but probably the fifth one, so measures have been taken but it’s not easy to mend the roof of this size. The stadium roof is old and big.
"The event for me is the most important thing, the show has to go on no matter what happens. We're trying to avoid any obstacles to ensure the show is not interrupted," BAM general manager Lawrence Chew said.
He said the complaint made by Lin Dan yesterday about the size of the warm up court, he noted that the facility was not a mandatory. In BWF regulation, it is not written that the organisers are obligated to provide a court for warm up.
"I already explained it in the team managers meeting, I think the team managers had not transmitted the message to the players," he said. — Bernama