What a glorious match!
Datuk Lee Chong Wei fought neck-and-neck against China’s Lin Dan and after 3 sets, the Malaysian shuttler won against his longtime rival for a spot in the Rio 2016 men’s singles badminton finals.
Though Chong Wei lost the first set 15-21, he quickly picked up in the 2nd set, winning Lin Dan with a strong score of 21-11. In the 3rd set, the 2 athletes performed formidably and the game was so close, the match went into a deuce. But despite the pressure, the world #1 gained 2 additional points, winning the set with 22-20. The match lasted for 79 minutes and the 2 exchanged T-shirts and hugged after the match.
NST quoted Chong Wei as saying, “The London final came into my mind when Lin Dan drew level at 20-20 but I told myself to forget it. I told myself to focus on what was happening now and I am so happy to have made the final. Lin Dan congratulated me and told me there could be only one winner today. I am so glad that it was me. Now, it is about the final and I will give my best”.
The duo is considered to have one of the biggest rivalries in badminton, with Lin Dan winning over Chong Wei 25 times in 36 previous matches. The Chinese shuttler won gold in the last 2 Olympics (2008 and 2012) while Chong Wei won silver.
This is 33-year-old Lee Chong Wei’s 3rd attempt at a gold medal and he will be up against China’s Chen Long, who beat Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 21-14, 21-15 in straight sets.
The men’s single badminton final and bronze medal match will take place on Saturday (20th August) at 8:20pm and 7:30pm Malaysian time respectively.
Congrats, Datuk 🙂 we’re all behind you! You can do this!