Thursday, August 22

Chong Wei ends title drought with Hong Kong Open victory


Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei poses for the media after winning the men’s singles final against China’s Chen Long at the Hong Kong Open badminton tournament in Hong Kong. — AFP photo

HONG KONG: Former badminton world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei clinched the Hong Kong Open yesterday by defeating Olympic champion Chen Long 21-14, 21-19, defying expectations that the all-time great may be reaching his end.

China’s Chen, who beat world number one Viktor Axelsen of Denmark to win the China Open for a fourth time last week, was stunned by 35-year-old Malaysian Lee, whose world ranking has fallen as he approaches the latter stages of his career.

Lee’s triumph came at a time when his old nemesis Lin Dan of China suffered defeats in the China Open and the quarter-finals in Hong Kong earlier this week.

In the women’s singles world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan stunned India’s Pusarla V Sindhu 21-18, 21-18 as the young top seeds slogged it out in a 45-minute battle.

Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, 22, also lost out to the 23-year-old Taiwanese star in last year’s Hong Kong Open.

China’s Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong took just 35 minutes to seal a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Danish shuttlers Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen in the mixed doubles final.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia beat Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 21-12, 21-18 in the men’s doubles final.

Top seeded Chinese duo Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan clawed their way back from a deficit in a battle lasting one hour and 10 minutes, defeating Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 14-21, 21-16, 21-15 in the women’s doubles final. — AFP