Tai Tzu Ying creates badminton history for Taiwan as Chong Wei wins his fourth All-England title
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Taiwan's Tai Tzu Ying, ranked No 1 in the world won the men's and women's singles titles in the USD600,000 Yonex All England Badminton Championships Superseries Premier which ended in Birmingham on Sunday.
The duo lived to their billing as the top seeds in their respective events with Chong Wei clinching his fourth All-England title with a 21-12, 21-10 win in 45 minutes over debutant Shi Yuqi of China and take his head to head count to 3-0, having beaten the 21-year-old in the Canada Open (2015) and Japan Open last year.
Chong Wei, had won the title in 2010, 2011 and 2014. It is a morale boosting win for the 34-year-old Malaysian who nearly did not make the trip to Birmingham following a left knee injury during training in Kuala Lumpur last month.
In a live interview over television after the final, Chong Wei also announced to the world that he will be back next year to defend his title while thanking his large group of fans in Birmingham.
Earlier Chong Wei had given broad hints of retiring from competitive badminton this year and his main focus is this World Championships in Glasgow in August. Chong Wei is also a three-time Olympics silver medallist - in Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio (2016).
For Tzu Ying, however, it was a historic win as she wrote herself into the history books as the first woman from her country to win the prestigious and most sought after title in badminton.
In a 51 minute final at the Barclaycard Arena the battle of the 22-year-olds saw the Taiwanese overcome former world champion and world No 1 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16, 22-20.
For fifth seed Ratchanok it was her second All-England final which ended in defeat. She lost to Denmark's Tine Baun in the final in 2013.
With her win over Ratchanok the head-to-head count between the two players stands at seven each in 14 meetings.
Indonesia won the men's doubles title through fifth seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo who defeated sixth seeds Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China 21-19, 21-14 in a 36-minute final.
Europe's hopes of winning a title in Birmingham went up in smoke when Rio Olympics silver medal winners Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christina Pedersen of Denmark were humbled by Korea's Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee in the final.
The fourth seeded Koreans, who won the bronze at the Rio Olympics, defeated the second seeded European champions in straight sets 21-18, 21-13 in 47 minutes.
Olympic silver medallists Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia, playing in their first All-England final suffered a heartbreaking defeat to China's Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong in the mixed doubles final. The Chinese took a marathon 86-minutes to subdue the gritty Malaysians in three sets 18-21, 21-19, 21-16.
RESULTS (ALL FINALS)
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat Shi Yuqi (Chn) 21-12, 21-10
Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) beat Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) 21-16, 22-20
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Ina) beat Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) 21-19, 21-14
Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) beat Kamilla Rytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-18, 21-13
Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) beat Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 18-21, 21-19, 21-16