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KUCHING, 10 April 2017:
National badminton ace Datuk Lee Chong Wei has acknowledged that Lin Dan is a great player and accepted his defeat against the Chinese badminton superstar – despite feeling disappointed at failing to reign at the Malaysia Open 2017 Championship for the 12th time.
Chong Wei, the world number one, lost 21-19, 21-14 to Lin Dan in the final at the Perpaduan Stadium, Petra Jaya here yesterday.
“Today I was not at my best and I am really disappointed but I have to accept the loss because in sports there are losers and there are winners,” he told a media conference after the match.
Chong Wei said the breeze in the stadium affected his rhythm of play because the shuttlecock fell in court when he expected it to fall outside.
He said he was ahead in the first set but Lin Dan had the confidence to catch up, plus several mistakes which he made which resulted in the Chinese ace overtaking him to win the first set.
Chong Wei said a win in the first set is very important and Lin Dan succeeded in achieving it and went on to win the second to emerge champion of the Malaysia Open for the first time.
Meanwhile, Lin Dan said he was very happy and satisfied at beating Chong Wei in the final to redeem his loss to Chong Wei 11 years ago in the final of the same championship and at the same stadium.
“Both of us played well and we have demonstrated a high quality of play and entertained the crowd.
“Actually, I was in pain after falling on the court during a semifinals match but I was so enthused about beating Chong Wei in the final today and I am very happy to have done so.”
This was the first meeting of the two players after the Rio Olympics last year.