Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton maestro Lee Chong Wei raised his arms in triumph after beating current World No. 1 Chen Long 21-13, 21-8 in 42 minutes in the Malaysia Open final on Sunday.
Lee remained perfect in Malaysia finals, winning an unprecedented 11th championship while denying defending champion Chen Long the one title that always eluded from Chinese shuttlers for many years until Chen Long won it last year.
The former World No.1 Lee was in imperious form from the start as he came out with all guns blazing to silence critics and reminded them on Sunday that he is still fresh, and still formidable. He needed only a routine win to get his game back in shape after crashing out early at the All England and India Open.
Malaysian crowd was ecstatic after Chen returned an out of bound base line shot which gave Lee the winning point that earned him US$41,250 (approximately RM162,000) in prize money, while the runner-up Chen Long brought home US$20,900 (approximately RM82,000).
“Many critics have called for my retirement after some poor performances,” said Lee.
“But I know within myself I still have the commitment and motivation to continue playing at the highest level,” added Lee.
“This win has restored my confidence, and it has definitely boosted my spirits ahead of the Olympics.”
Lee will next play at the Asia Badminton Championships (ABC) that will be held in Wuhan, China from April 26-May 1.
In men’s doubles competition, No. 5 seeds Kim Gi-Jung/Kim Sa-Rang of South Korea became the first South Korean pair to win the Malaysia Open after Lee Yong-Dae/Jung Jae-Sung won the title in 2009. Kim Gi-Jung/Kim Sa-Rang edged past China’s No. 4 seeds Chai Biao/Hong Wei 21-19, 21-15 in 36 minutes to capture the title on Sunday.