Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chong Wei just a step away from Championships final

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei hits a return to Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto during their men's singles quarter-final match at the 2013 Badminton World Championships in Guangzhou, August 9, 2013.

World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei overpowered Indonesian ace Tommy Sugiarto to stroll into the semifinals of the 2013 World Badminton Championships at the Tianhe Gymnasium, here, today.

The top seed in the tournament showed why he is still the World number one as he took just 35 minutes to sweep aside the Indonesian pretender to the title, 21-6, 21-9, which was a flattering score by world standards.

Chong Wei will now meet third seed Du Pengyu of China who overcame India’s rising star Parupalli Kashyap 16-21, 22-20, 21-15 in a three-set thriller.

In another quarterfinal match played earlier, defending champion Lin Dan from China beat his fellow countryman Chen Long 21-13, 22-20, to keep his hopes of winning a fifth world championship very much alive.

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He will now meet Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh who had to dig deep into his reserves to overcome a spirited Jan O Jorgensen from Denmark, 21-8, 17-21, 22-20, in another exciting quarterfinal encounter.

In today’s match, Chong Wei who has beaten the Indonesian six times before, was simply in his element, scoring points at will while Sugiarto was gasping for breath as he was forced to move around the court by Chong Wei’s attacking play.

“After having beaten Wang Zhengming from China, I maintained the same momentum and Sugiarto was forced to follow my rhythm. Now I am more confident of my game,” he said.

Against Pengyu, the head-to-head record stands at 7-1 in favour of Chong Wei with the only blemish coming in the Taiwan Open Super Series last December when Chong Wei had to withdraw due to an injury.

“I will have to be physically and mentally prepared for the match against Pengyu,” he said.

As for his likely opponent in the final, Lin Dan, who is also his arch-rival, Chong Wei said he had watched the match between Lin Dan and Chen Long.

“It was a great match but right now I just want to focus on my match tomorrow and not worry about my would be opponent. Just like I have said before, this is a very important tournament for me and I want to do my best,” said Chong Wei who is now 31.

In the 2011 World Championship at the Wembley Arena in London, Chong Wei lost to Lin Dan in the final.

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