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BAC Final report

Chong Wei crowned Asian Champion after gunning down Chen Long

WUHAN: For the second time in as many months, Malaysian Lee Chong Wei has got the better of world No.1 Chen Long. After beating Chen Long in the Malaysian Open last month, Chong Wei again outplayed the Chinese ace in the final of the Badminton Asia Champinships here today.

The win augurs well for the Malaysian ahead of the Rio Olympics in August this year. Today's victory was also the 33-year-old Chong Wei's first win since he last won in in 2006 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

In today's final, Chong Wei blasted off the blocks and shot to a 21-17 win in the opener. With the support if his fans, Chen Long rode on Chong Wei's difficulty adjusting to the drift which led to several wrong judgement calls. After taking the break at 11-6 Chen Long took the set 21-15 to force a rubber.

Chong Wei reclaimed control in the decider and grabbed a 15-10 lead after going into the break at 11-6. Chong Wei kept up the pressure and forced his opponent into errors for a 21-13 win.

After battling for 82 minutes, Chong Wei emerged triumphant to bag his third title this year after the Penang Masters and Malaysia Open.

In the semi-finals on Saturday, the second seeded Chong Wei defeated defending champion and five-time world champion Lin Dan 22-20, 15-21, 21-4.

With Sunday's win for the Asian title Chong Wei now leads 13-12 in the head-to-head count in 25 meetings. His last defeat to Chen Long was at the World Championships in Jakarta when he lost the final 14-21, 17-21.

Beating the top two Chinese players on home soil will go a long way in boosting his confidence. It will also set him on the right track as he leads the Malaysian team into the Thomas Cup Finals Kunshan, China from May 15-22.

Chong Wei, ranked No 2 in the world, pocketed USD15,000 in prize money that came with the title while Chen Long took home USD7,600.

However, it is the vital Olympic points he amassed in Wuhan in the last tournament Olympic qualifying tournament that means more than anything else for the Malaysian to secure a good seeding in Rio.

It turned out to be a bad day for the topseeds today. The women's singles final, an all-China affair, saw sixth seeded Wang Yihan stun No.1 seed Li Xuerui 21-14, 13-21, 21-16 in an hour.

The men's doubles, as expected, went to world No 1 and top seeds Lee Yong Dae-Yoo Yeon Seong who retained the title with a hard fought 21-14, 28-26 win over the unseeded pair of Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China in 58 minutes.

Defending champions Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia, seeded second here, failed to retain their mixed doubles title, losing 16-21, 21-9 21-17 to top seeds Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei of China in the final.

World No 1 and top seeds Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi defeated compatriots Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yanao 21-13, 21-15 in an all-Japan women's doubles final.

RESULTS (All Finals)

Men's singles 
Lee Chong Wei (Mas) beat Chen Long (Chn) 21-17, 15-21, 21-13

Men's doubles
Lee Yong Dae-Yoo Yeon Seong (Kor) beat Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) 21-14, 28-26 21-18

Women's singles
Wang Yihan (Chn) beat Li Xuerui (Chn) 21-14, 13-21, 21-16

Women's doubles
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) beat Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yanao (Jpn) 21-13, 21-15

Mixed doubles
 Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) beat Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina) 16-21, 21-9, 21-17


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