Wuhan: Malaysian badminton maestro Lee Chong Wei celebrated his fourth consecutive victories against World No. 1 Chen Long of China by beating the Chinese shuttler in the Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) final to regain his second BAC title in Wuhan, China on Sunday.
In the enthralling first set, Lee who won the BAC title in 2006, put on a furious fightback after trailing 11-15 to overtake Chen Long and wrapped up the set 21-17.
Chen Long started the second set more aggressively, and was able to summon every ounce of strength and determination to deny Lee 15-21 and to force a decider.
Having lost the second set to Chen Long, Lee hit back with lightning-fast pace and attacked his opponent with deadly pinpoint accuracy. After the interval, Lee took advantage of an impatience Chen Long who has committed several unforced errors, racing to close out the 82 minutes match with a 21-13 win in the rubber set.
Lee took home USD15,000 (about RM58,702) as the men’s champion.
In the women’s singles, China’s Wang Yihan prevailed over top seed and compatriot Li Xuerui 21-14, 13-21, 21-16 in an hour, clinching her third Asian title. This victory was also very critical for the 28-year-old Wang Yihan, as this tournament could give her an advantage over compatriot Wang Shixian when deciding who could represent China in the Rio Olympics.
Meanwhile, South Korean top seeded pair of Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong got the better of China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen 21-14, 28-26 in 58 minutes to win the men’s doubles title.
Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi crushed compatriots Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao 21-13, 21-15 in the women’s doubles final in 53 minutes.
The mixed doubles title went to the top seeded Chinese combination of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, who saw off Indonesian second seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir 16-21, 21-9, 21-17 in an hour and one minute.
Badminton Asia Championships (BAC) offers a total prize money of USD200,000 (about RM782,700).