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BIRMINGHAM, 12 March 2017:
National badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei had to dig deep into his reserves to clinch a spot in the final of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham overnight.
The three-time All-England champion faced stiff competition from Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the semifinals before coming from a game down to book his ticket to the final.
Chong Wei lost the first game 10-21 but bounced back to take the second game 21-14 before wrapping up the third 21-9.
Chong Wei received strong support from Malaysians and local fans at the Barclaycard Arena. With the win, the world number one maintained his unbeaten record against Chou after six meetings.
Chong Wei is now one step away from a fourth All England title after having won in 2010, 2011 and 2014.
His arch rival Lin Dan lost to upcoming Chinese star Shi Yuqi in the other semifinal in straight games.
Unseeded Shi held on as Lin raced to take the first five points, before Shi found second gear to get back into contention.
From there, it was a neck-and-neck battle until the very end of the opener, with Shi eventually prevailing after parity at 22-22.
But in the second game, it was a different story as Shi controlled proceedings from the very first shuttle.
From 3-3, the world number ten never once fell behind, and cruised to take a 21-11 victory and book his spot in his maiden Yonex All England final.
Mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying followed Chong Wei into the final. The duo swept aside Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino from Japan, 21-17, 21-15 in straight sets at the Barclays Arena.
They are set to face Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong of China, who beat England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock 19-21, 21-12, 22-20.
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