A BACK pain had been a bother for the world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei over the last few days.
But he hardly showed any signs of it yesterday as he went on an attacking mode to crush Chen Long of China to win the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold men’s singles title at the Bandaraya Stadium in Johor Baru.
He demolished the world junior champion in just 32 minutes, winning the final match 21-16, 21-9.
It was the first time that the Beijing Olympic Games silver medallist won back-to-back Open title.
Last week in Jakarta, Chong Wei defeated the home hero, Taufik Hidayat, to lift the Indonesia Open for the second time after 2007.
Chen Long had been riding high in the tournament after his stunning first-round win over Taufik and he appeared to have the ability to upset Chong Wei too when he made a remarkable comeback from 1-6 down to lead 8-6 lead in the first game.
But Chong Wei put the fight back in order by taking control of the game with his ferocious attacks.
In the second game, Chong Wei showed no mercy and raced to a 11-1 lead and the huge advantage broke the resolve of the Chinese youngster.
Chong Wei continued with his flurry of smashes to romp home for the win to the delight of the home supporters.
Chong Wei, who was down with muscle spasm on the first day, said that he was focused on winning his fourth Open title to please his home fans.
“I suffered a slight back injury on the opening day of the tournament but I did not want to make a big fuss over it. Every day, I went to the medical room to get proper treatment,” said Chong Wei, who was also the winner of the Malaysian and Swiss Open tournaments this year.
“I had no choice but to play an attacking game from the start. My back hurts whenever I bend. So I tried my best to avoid defensive play.
“Chen Long is quite an aggressive player. He certainly looks like the next China player to make it big.”
Chong Wei, however, said that the back problem was not a serious one and would not affect his preparations for the World Championships, which will be held in Hyderabad from Aug 10-16.
“I should be back on my feet soon to prepare for the world championships. I have six weeks more to polish up my game,” he said.
Coach Misbun Sidek was happy with Chong Wei’s achievement and said: “I was not around for almost two months but Chong Wei’s back-to-back wins showed that he had not slacked in training.
“It is not easy to keep the motivation high all the time but Chong Wei has proved that he can perform in any situation. The challenge is to keep the momentum going for the world championships and I am confident that Chong Wei will be ready.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old qualifier Wang Zhixian showed that China have not really lost their strength in the women’s singles department.
She put up a good fight to beat compatriot Wang Xin 21-16, 18-21, 21-10.
It was Zhixian’s first international tournament since joining the national back-up team this year.