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KUALA LUMPUR, 12 March 2017:
World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei added a fourth All England men’s singles title to his impressive collection by beating Shi Yuqi from China in a lop-sided final at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England today.
The Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medallist swept home 21-12, 21-10 in just 45 minutes although his opponent suffered a leg injury towards the end of the second game.
Shi Yuqi. who was trailing 10-18 in the second game, twisted his ankle while trying to retrieve a delicate shot from Chong Wei and took a short medical time out – but decided to continue although he could not do much in the remaining three points.
Chong Wei himself had been suffering a knee injury that saw him skipping competitions for about three months and last month suffered a major scare when he suffered a freak accident during training.
However, the Penangite – who was initially doubtful for the All England – recovered quickly to make the trip to Birmingham, which in his own words, was like playing at home.
“The All England is my favourite tournament because I feel like playing at home every time I see action here. The fans have been great and I will be back next year.
“Thanks to all my fans, first time I am seeing so many people (supporters) in the final. All England is my favourite tournament. Yes (I want to play next year in the All England),” said Chong Wei who received a thunderous roar of applause in reply from the fans who had backed him all the way.
Chong Wei who had won the title in 2011, 2012 and 2014 was expected to face his arch rival and defending champion Lin Dan from China in the final – but all expectations fell flat when the former world number one unexpectedly lost to Shi Yuqi in the semifinal yesterday.
Meanwhile, Malaysian mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying failed to cross their final hurdle, losing 21-18, 19-21, 16-21 to Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong from China.
Peng Soon/Liu Ying who took the first game 21-18, were in fact leading the second game 17-16 when a disputed call from the umpire seemed to have disrupted the Malaysian duo’s rhythm – who subsequently lost concentration.
However, it was the first final for the duo – who had never gone past the semifinal stage.
No Malaysian mixed doubles pair has won the mixed doubles title although a combination of David Choong from Malaysia and June White from England had won the title in 1953.