Badminton world number one, Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, crushed Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat in straight sets 21-8, 21-17 in the final of the Malaysia Open Super Series at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
The victorious Chong dedicated his victory to the home crowd, some of whom arrived at the stadium five hours before the match.
“I was determined to win the tournament as it is my home title,” said Chong, who flew to South Korea later Sunday for the VICTOR Korea Open, one of five Super Series premier tournaments on the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) calendar.
“I am satisfied with my performance here because I am playing in front of my own fans and I did not want to disappoint them. I hope I can carry on the form from here to Seoul. I have always given my best wherever I go. It will be the same in Korea too,” he was quoted as saying on the BWF’s official website (www.bwfbadminton.org).
Taufik lauded Chong’s performance at the US$400,000 tournament.
“He played well while I had difficulties developing my [game],” Taufik was quoted as saying by Antara news agency after the match. He added that he gave his best at the tournament.
Both shuttlers traded shots before Chong managed to hold Taufik while leading 13-8 in the first game, closing it out 21-8.
2004 Athens Olympic champion Taufik managed to stay close in the second game, winning nine points in a row to pull back from 18-8 to 18-17. However, Chong managed to win the game 21-17.
The final went according to the draw, as top seeded Chong met the 30-year-old Indonesian who was seeded second following the withdrawal of China’s Lin Dan.
Taufik had called for the BWF to investigate Lin’s pullout in the quarterfinal due to an abdominal injury.
Lin’s withdrawal gifted the win to compatriot Chen Long, but Taufik expressed doubts about the severity of the injury.
“I am not sure how serious his injury was, but I find it very unsporting for him to concede a walkover,” Taufik was quoted as saying by the Star daily on Saturday.
“It is high time that the BWF look into this matter because it is not good for the sport. Maybe they could prevent him from going to back-to-back tournaments if he skips one.”
Chong, who played Chen in the semifinal, expressed similar doubts about Lin’s injury, which he felt was a ploy to avoid competing against compatriots.
“All the fans waited for a semifinal match between Lin Dan and I but it did not happen. I am sure the fans were upset but I cannot do anything about it,” he said.
“Maybe the BWF should look into this. But then, what can they do if a player does not want to play?”
Lin has walked out of matches against fellow Chinese players at the China Open and Hong Kong Open as well, the report said.
On Sunday, China proved their powerhouse status by taking home four other titles — three of them in all-Chinese finals.
Mixed doubles seventh seeds Hanbin He and Jin Ma defeated fifth-seeded compatriots Jaming Tao and Qing Tian 21-13, 13-21, 21-16.
Second-seeded Shixiang Wang of China outclassed compatriot Yihan Wang 21-18, 21-14 in the women’s single.
In the women’s doubles, eighth-seeded Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao ousted teammates Xiaoli Wang and Yang Yu 21-12, 6-21, 21-17. while fifth-seeded Biao Chai and Zhendong Guo defeated Mads Conrads-Petersen and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark 21-16, 21-14 in the men’s doubles.