Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chong Wei beats Lin Dan to take Japan Open

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei poses with his national flag after defeating China's Lin Dan in their men's single final match at the Japan Super Series 2010 badminton championships in Tokyo. Credit to Reuters.
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei poses with his national flag after defeating China's Lin Dan in their men's single final match at the Japan Super Series 2010 badminton championships in Tokyo. Credit to Reuters.
TOKYO: World number one Lee Chong Wei squeezed past old foe Lin Dan of China to win the men’s singles title at the Japan Open today.

The top-seeded Malaysian, who reached the final without losing a game, needed a tough 81 minutes before scoring a 22-20, 16-21, 21-17 victory over the three-time former world champion.

In the women’s, unseeded 2002 world junior champion Jiang Yanjiao, who eliminated fellow Chinese Lu Lan and Wang Shixian on her way to the final, shocked world number one Wang Xin 23-21, 21-18 to claim the title.


“This is my second victory in the Japan Open. I targeted my goal this year to win the All England and the Japan Open, so I’m very happy that I won both of them,” said Lee.

“I couldn’t play well in the Thomas Cup and I got an injury in Paris and failed to win the world championships. Now I’m going to aim at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in November.”

Lin, winner here in 2005 and 2006, used his unstoppable smashes to even the contest at one game each, hitting a sudden attack at the net at 20-16 in the second.


But Lee kept a narrow lead in the final game, and although he was close to be tied at 11-10 and 15-14, took four points in a row to lead 19-15.

Lee took a commanding 20-17 lead when Lin hit an overhead wide, and finished off the struggling Chinese with a backhand winner.

“I changed the rhythm in the final game and increased the speed of the shuttle to lead 11-7. I didn’t rush too much when I was close to be tied and tried to keep attacking at my pace,” said Lee, 27.


It was Lee’s seventh title of the season.

Earlier, Jiang, who needed only 37 minutes to beat compatriot Wang, said: “I’m really glad that I won the title in my first final here.

“It was a tough match, but both of us played our best.

“I just played patiently. That’s the key to the victory. We know each other. I planned to change the pace when I was in a difficult situation.

“This victory is very important because the level of our teammates are almost the same. It’s tougher to play against my teammate, much tougher than when I play against players from other countries,” she added.

It was Jiang’s first title this season.

For Wang, who became world number one in the new rankings issued on Thursday, it was a second straight final defeat at the Japan Open.

*Taken from NST Online

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