KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Men’s singles World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei clinched the inaugural Mini Olympics gold medal after beating former All England champion Hafiz Hashim in straight sets at the Juara Stadium, Bukit Kiara, here Thursday.
The Beijing Olympics silver medallist who arrived home after a 10-day training stint in South Korea, hardly lost any sweat when he outplayed Hafiz, ranked world number 37, in straight sets, 21-17, 21-10.
Chong Wei who bagged three super series titles this year – Malaysia Open, Swiss Open, Indonesia Open and the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold said: "Even though the Mini Olympics is not a major championship, I treat it as a perfect warm up before competing in the World Championship in Hyderabad, India."
The World Championship in Hyderabad which is expected to feature all the top badminton players in the world, will kick off from Aug 10-16.
"Now, I’m fully focused on the World Championship title which is my main target now," he said and added that the next 10 days would be critical for him since he has to stay away from injuries.
Chong Wei said: "This time around, I’m confident of reaching the final. I failed in the past due to costly mistakes (2005 World Championship in Anaheim, California, 2006 in Madrid, Spain and 2007 in Kuala Lumpur), but I have learned my lessons well and I am more determined now than ever."
Based on the Badminton World Federation rankings, the Penang shuttler, 26, had stayed at the top for almost a year now since climbing to the top after taking over from China’s Lin Dan after the Beijing Olympics.
"This is my prime time to lift the world championship. Thus, during this 10 days I must focus on strengthening my mental," he said.
Chong Wei’s coach Misbun Sidek said: "He needs to maintain the winning momentum before the world championship starts in two weeks. The feeling must be there should he want to win the championship."
Meanwhile, the women’s singles gold was won by top seed Wong Mew Choo who beat second seed Lydia Cheah Li Ya 24-22, 21-17.
In the men’s doubles, unseeded pair Chan Chong Ming/Chew Choon Eng won the gold after edging veteran pair Choong Tan Fook/Lee Wan Wah 16-21, 21-15, 24-22 in the final.
World number one women’s doubles pair Chin Eei Hui/Wong Pei Tty bagged the gold after beating unseeded pair Choong Sook Chin/Woon Khe Wei 21-16, 21-17 in the women’s doubles final.