End of the charge (pic)

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WORLD number one Lee Chong Wei crashed out of the World Championships when he fell 20-22, 21-12,18-21 to Chinas Bao Chunlai in a dramatic quarter-final match yesterday.

Malaysias challenge in the mens singles also came to an end yesterday when Mohd Hafiz Hashim fell to another Chinese, second seed Lin Dan 21-10, 21-9.

LISTEN TO ME: Malaysian coach Li Mao (right) giving advice to Lee Chong Wei in his mens singles quarter-final match against Chinas Bao Chunlai yesterday. Chong Wei lost 20-22, 21-12, 18-21.

Chong Wei, the top seed, had been seen as Malaysias best hope to win the countrys first world title but succumbed to the combination of the pressure of being the top seed and also Chunlais good tactical game.

The match, however, was overshadowed by what Chong Wei described as unsportsmanly behaviour by the Chinese chief coach Li Yongbo.

Chong Wei claimed he lost his cool during the match after Yongbo, who was seated in the crowd, yelled for Chunlai to break his (Chong Weis) legs.

Yongbo was also heard telling Chong Wei to shut up when the Malaysian let out a cry of joy after winning a point.

The Chinese chief coach was also spotted standing up and pointing his finger at the Malaysian shuttler as the latter was walking into the mixed zone area to meet the awaiting press after his match.

It is very unsportsmanlike and unbecoming of a chief coach to behave like that. His intention may have been to affect me psychologically, but this is not the right way to do it.

This is badminton, not boxing. A chief coach should not stoop so low to get his player to win the match. And it is also not the first time that Yongbo has asked his player to break my legs. He also did it during the Hong Kong Open final when I played Lin Dan, said a fuming Chong Wei.

I do not mind losing and I am not out to pick a fight with anyone. I have a good relationship with most of the players from other countries and do not treat the Chinese players as sworn enemies.

National chief coach Yap Kim Hock, speaking on behalf of team manager Datuk Lim Teong Kiat who was not present during the post-match press conference, said Malaysia were seriously considering lodging an official protest against Yongbos conduct.

Although he was fuming at Yongbos antics, Chong Wei did not take anything away from Chunlais first-ever career victory over him.

It was a 50-50 match and all credit to Chunlai for coming well prepared. I am not satisfied with several line calls that went against me but I have to live with that since I am the top seed and everyone here would love to see me fall, added the shuttler.

In the match, Chong Wei lost the first game in deuce despite being in control much of the time. But he recovered well to force the tie into a rubber game with an easy 21-12 win in the second.

After trading point for point till 15-15 in the third game, Chong Wei allowed his opponent to pull away and close out the match after several disputed line calls.

Chong Wei was also troubled by a flesh injury to his playing hands ring finger, sustained when he fell awkwardly in the second game. His finger was bleeding and required treatment.

Chong Wei was not the only high seed to fall yesterday. Third seed Chen Jin failed to make it an all-Chinese semi-final with Chunlai after falling 14-21, 21-19, 12-21 to South Koreas Lee Hyun-Il.

Fourth seed Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark also bowed out in the quarter-final stage, losing 17-21, 21-15, 12-21 to seventh seed Chen Hong of China.

(source: The Star Online)

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