By Dave Thompson
BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – World and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China clinched his fourth All England title on Sunday with a 21-19 21-12 victory over world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
The match was a re-run of last year’s Olympic final in Beijing where Lin swept to a 21-12 21-8 success.
It was tougher going on Sunday but, apart from a brief spell in the first game when the top seed led 19-17 Lin, seeded two, was generally in control.
He rattled off four points in a row to take the game and then produced an even better effort in the second, reeling off seven points in succession to race from 14-12 to 21-12 and victory.
It was a ninth triumph over his big rival in their last 10 meetings and a boost for the Chinese as he seeks to regain his place at the top of the world rankings.
Lin, making his sixth appearance in a row in the final, had won the title previously in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Keen to get through a news conference so he could go shopping, the Chinese told reporters: “There were a couple of times in the first game when I was not quite handling it but I managed to keep my form and I think I played well.
“I can stay focused a lot better these days and I think that makes me a better player.”
A capacity crowd of around 4,500 at the National Indoor Arena warmed to a high-class contest and there was plenty of encouragement for the runner-up.
“I lost my focus on a few points but I played a lot better than I did at the Olympics. Psychologically, he’s difficult for me to beat but I hope I get the chance to try again and even things up,” he said.
The women’s final later on Sunday is between world number one Tine Rasmussen of Denmark and unseeded Chinese Wang Yihan.