KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — World No. 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei stamped his authority and power in the badminton world after winning the Malaysia Open Super Series at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, his eighth Malaysia Open title so far.
Thousands of supporters rose to their feet as Chong Wei beat Kenichi Tago of Japan 21-6, 21-13 in 37 minutes.
The victory followed Chong Wei’s good run in the new year. Last week at the Korean Open, he beat his long-time rival Lin Dan of China. At the semifinal here, he stopped another Chinese player, Chen Long.
The victory, he said, augured well for his Olympic preparations.
"I foresee that China are also preparing hard for the Olympics. I’m happy today for having beaten them but this also means that I will have to prepare harder after this," he said after the cup presentation by the prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
The victory earned him US$30,000 (RM93,990).
Chong Wei said he would now focus on two upcoming tournaments — the Thomas Cup qualification round and the All-England — prior to the London Olympics in July.
"I am competing in less tournaments this year to allow me to focus on the Olympics," he said.
China’s Wang Yihan won the women’s singles title, beating her compatriot Wang Xin 21-19, 21-11.
Chinese players also dominated the mixed doubles, with Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei emerging champions, beating teammates Xu Chen-Ma Jin 21-12, 21-9.
Taiwan’s Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu beat South Korea’s Cho Gun Woo-Shin Baek Choel 16-21, 21-16, 21-16.
Denmark’s Christina Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl, meanwhile, created an upset when they beat the tournament’s second seed, Ha Jung Eun-Kim Min Jung of South Korea 21-19, 21-18 to win the category.