Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chong Wei to meet Lin Dan in final

SURELY England must be a place of breakthroughs for Malaysia’s singles players in the World Championships.

Yesterday, world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei did a jig and punched the air in sheer delight after finally making it to his first final of the World Championships at the Wembley Arena in incredible fashion.

In a 44-minute show of sheer power, steely determination and world-class badminton, Chong Wei dethroned China’s Chen Jin with a 21-13, 21-9 win in the semi-finals.

He is the second Malaysian to reach the men’s singles final after Wong Choong Hann, who made the breakthrough when he lost to China’s Xia Xuanze in Birmingham in 2003.

China’s Lin Dan, however, could spoil the party for Chong Wei as he seeks to become the country’s first world champion in the final today.

Lin Dan, who has won the world title three times, overcame 34-year-old former No. 1 Peter Gade Christensen 22-24, 21-7, 21-15 in the Dane's last world championship.

Afterwards, the sport's biggest name again cast doubt on his desire to win a fourth world title.

"I don't care about the result of tomorrow's (Sunday's) final," Lin Dan claimed.

"It's more important just to try to win as many ranking points as possible to qualify for the Olympics, and to get used to the venue. I think Lee Chong Wei is in really good form."

A delighted Chong Wei, who only has a bronze from his world meet debut in Anaheim in 2005, was thrilled to bits.

“Finally, I am in the final in my sixth attempt at the world meet. I am so happy that I kept my focus throughout the match and did not stumble,” said Chong Wei.

There were no signs of Chong Wei muffing up this time, especially after he managed to overcome a tight battle in the opening game to race into an 11-8 lead.

After that, it was all Chong Wei as he began to mix it up with slicing cross-court smashes, a touch of deception at the front and incredible returns.

This slowly, but surely, weakened Chen Jin’s resolve. But credit to Chen Jin as he fought back to take a 6-3 lead in the second game. But the brief battle lasted only until 8-8 as Chong Wei got back into the groove to take nine points in a row for a deserving win.

“Both of us are aggressive players but I stayed on top of my game today to break his momentum. He tried to engage me in rallies but I did not give him the room to do it,” said Chong Wei.

Now that he is in the final, Chong Wei said he would go the extra mile to end the country’s elusive chase for the world title.

“This win against Chen Jin has given me a lot of confidence. I have come this far and I am going to go all out,” said Chong Wei.

“I have worked very hard to reach this stage. It could be Lin Dan or Peter (in the final) but I will be ready for anyone. I want to win the world title and, I think, this is the best time to do so.”

Chen Jin was demoralised with his loss, admitting that he simply had no answer to Chong Wei’s fiery, fiesty and power-packed game.

“I lost to a better player. He played so well and it was frustrating when he was able to return all my shots. I tried to slow down the tempo but it was quite impossible,” said a dejected Chen Jin.

Chen Jin thus becomes the second world champion to bite the dust in the world meet after Indonesian Taufik Hidayat’s sad exit in the third round.

National singles coach Tey Seu Bock was proud of Chong Wei’s achievement.

“He did everyone proud today. He used to choke but, this time, he played with so much confidence,” said Seu Bock.

“Chong Wei used the right strategy to beat Chen Jin. He kept changing his strokes and powerful movements and that really did the damage to Chen Jin. Our goal is to win the title here. He has made the personal breakthrough and, now, it is time to make the breakthrough for the country.”



Men’s singles: Chen Jin (Chn) bt Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den) 21-17, 21-13; Peter-Gade Christensen (Den) bt Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) 17-21, 21-19, 21-13.

Men’s doubles: Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) bt Hong Wei-Shen Ye (Chn) 21-12, 26-24;

Women’s singles: Wang Yihan (Chn) bt Pi Hongyan (Fra) 21-14, 21-16.

Women’s doubles: Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Jpn) 21-13, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: Chris Adcock-Imogen Bankier (Eng-Sco) bt Tao Jiaming-Tian Qing (Chn) 21-16, 21-18.


Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Chen Jin (Chn) 21-14, 21-15; Lin Dan (Chn) bt Peter Gade Christensen 22-24, 21-7, 21-15.

Men’s doubles: Ko Sung-hyun-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) bt Mohd Ahsan-Bona Septano(Ina) 21-19, 21-17.

Women’s singles: Wang Yihan (Chn) bt Wang Xin (Chn) 21-14, 21-15; Cheng Shao-chieh (Tpe) bt Juliane Schenk (Ger) 21-18, 21-6.

Women’s doubles: Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (Chn) bt Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna (Jpn) 21-8, 21-15;

Mixed doubles: Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Xu Chen-Ma Jin (Chn) 21-17, (retired).