Lee Chong Wei, Defying Age, defeats Chen Long in Hong Kong Open Final

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Lee Chong Wei celebrates his victory against Chen Long during the men's singles final at the 2017 Hong Kong Open final.
Lee Chong Wei celebrates his victory against Chen Long during the men's singles final at the 2017 Hong Kong Open final.

Hong Kong: At 35 years old, Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei has proved that age is just a number once and for all – winning an unprecedented 46th career Super Series title – the most badminton Super Series titles in history of badminton, at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

Lee who has been through various ups and downs this season after a demoralizing first-round loss at the World Championships in August, arrived seeded just 8th, and was rightfully viewed as an underdog at the Hong Kong Open.

In a rematch of the last year’s Olympic final against Chen Long of China on Sunday, Lee Chong Wei showed once again why he was still one of the best player in men’s badminton by exacting revenge for his Rio defeat to beat No. 5 seed Chen 21-14, 21-19 in a one-sided Hong Kong Open final.

Lee Chong Wei (R) poses with Chen Long on the podium.
Lee Chong Wei (R) poses with Chen Long on the podium.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself in the Olympics since it is a quadrennial event while I am playing at the Hong Kong Open with more relaxed pace,” said Lee.

“Coming into the Hong Kong Open final, I didn’t think much about winning or losing. Fortunately, I was able to stay calm and to wrestle it back in my favor after I was trailed 10-15 in the second set,” added Lee.

After Sunday’s victory, Lee held a slight advantage of his career meeting record against Chen Long to 14-13.

“I was a little anxious when I was leading at 15-10 in the second set, allowing Lee to catch up, otherwise, I might be able to force a decider,” said Chen.

Meanwhile, men’s doubles No. 1 seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia took home $31.6 USD after beating No. 6 seeds Mads Conrad-petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 21-12, 21-18 in the final.

The Hong Kong Open was Gideon/Sanjaya’s sixth Super Series title in 2017, they have previously won the All England, India Open, Malaysia Open, Japan Open, and China Open.

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