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Chong Wei’s marker for the Olympics

It is still early in the year, but Lee Chong Wei laid down a marker for the Olympics when he reached the final of the Maybank Malaysia Open presented by Proton on Saturday.

Lee Chong Wei (NR celebrates semis Mas)The Malaysian (right), who is hoping to win his home tournament for a record equalling eighth time, defeated Chen Long in three tight games to make it a great start to 2012 after having beaten Lin Dan in the Victor Korea Open final last Sunday, the opening OSIM BWF World Superseries tournament of the year.

“It feels good to have beaten the world No.2 (Lin Dan) in South Korea last week and now the world No. 3. It is an important boost as the Olympics will be held this year,” said Chong Wei.

“The Chinese players are so hard to beat and to have beaten my two biggest rivals has given me the confidence to go out and try to win my eighth Malaysian title.

“Lin Dan may have lost out on the opening two tournaments of the year, but I believe he and the rest of the Chinese players will surely be at their best by the time the Olympics roll around.

”As such, I have to keep on my toes and train as hard as I normally do.”

Chen Long, who had beaten Chong Wei three times in 2011, started sluggishly at the Putra Stadium but came alive towards the end of the first game.

After taking the second game, he looked the more confident player and Chong Wei was forced to dig deep before coming back from 7-3 and 8-4 down in the decider before winning.

The world No. 1 said: “The fans were fantastic and I don’t think I would have won if the match was not held in Malaysia.

“They really lifted me when I needed it most and that is why I celebrated so much after clinching the winning point.”

He will now meet Japan’s Kenichi Tago, who had a free ride into the final when his opponent, Chen Jin, retired with an ankle injury while trailing 3-2 in the opening game.

Chen Jin (injury semis Mas)“It is not a serious injury, neither is it an old one. I just landed awkwardly and didn’t feel comfortable at all,” said Chen Jin (left). “I’m disappointed but I didn’t want to take any risk.”

Tago said: “I’m bitterly disappointed as I was really pumped up to face him. It will be difficult against Chong Wei tomorrow as this is his home ground and he is also the world No. 1.

“I have lost two previous Superseries finals to him(All England and French Open) and hope to be third time lucky.”

For full results, click here.

Semi-finals
Men

Singles: Kenichi Tago (Japan) bt Chen Jin (China) 3-2 retired; Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) bt Chen Long (China) 21-18, 17-21, 21-13.
Doubles: Fang Chieh Min-Lee Sheng Mu (Taipei) bt Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Japan) 21-19, 18-21, 21-12;  Cho Gun Woo-Shin Baek Choel (South Korea) bt Chai Biao-Guo Zhendong (China) 26-24, 23-21.

Women
Singles: Wang Yihan (China) bt Saina Nehwal (India) 21-15, 21-16; Wang Xin (China) bt Wang Shixian (China) 21-12, 25-23.
Doubles: Ha Jung Eun-Kim Min Jung (South Korea) bt Shizuka Matsuo-Mami Naito (Japan) 17-21, 21-15, 21-11; Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter-Juhl (Denmark) Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin (China) 21-14, 21-13.

Mixed doubles: Xu Chen-Ma Jin (China) bt Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) 21-17, 21-14; Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (China) bt Chan Peng Soo-Goh Liu Ying (Malaysia) 21-13, 21-16.

 

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