KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — National singles shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei retained the Proton Malaysia Open Badminton Super Series title for the seventh successive year after beating Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia 21-8, 21-17.
Chong Wei took only 37 minutes to turn the table against Taufik, much to the delight of Malaysian fans at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil here Sunday night.
In the first game, Chong Wei forced Taufik into errors with net play to lead comfortably before clinching the game.
However, in the second game, Taufik, who was trailing 8-18 at one stage managed to claw back into the game and bridged the gap at 17-18 before Chong Wei had the better of him.
"I threw everything I had into the game as I was the last Malaysian shuttler left in the fray. I really wanted the title to remain in Malaysia," Chong Wei told reporters after the match.
Chong Wei admitted that he was motivated by the presence of singles coach Datuk Misbun Sidek.
"He (Misbun) knew that I was under a great deal of pressure to win, so he came to motivate me.
"He told me ‘you do good work and you had trained hard, so today you will get good results," said Chong Wei, who walked away with a RM91,800 prize money.
The wife of the prime minister, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is also the patron of the Badminton Association of Malaysia gave away the prizes.
Present was Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei, who lifted the Taiwan Open Super Series title two weeks ago, said he was determined to win three more titles this year — the Victor Premier Korean Super Series, the All-England and the BWF World Championship to retain his world’s number one ranking.
He said the All-England and BWF World Championship were regarded as the two most prestigious tournaments while the Victor Premier Korea Super Series offered the highest prize money at USD1.2 million (RM3.67 million).
"Although, I will face stiff competition from great players, I will practise hard and do my best to Malaysia," said Chong Wei, who will leave for Seoul tonight.
The Victor Korea Badminton Premier Super Series 2011 will be held from next Tuesday to Sunday.