COPENHAGEN – World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei suffered another heartbreak in the BWF Badminton World Championships after failing to win the elusive title on his third attempt.
Chong Wei, the losing finalist in two previous editions (Wembley 2011, Guangzhou 2013), lost to Chen Long of China 19-21, 19-21 in straight sets, to once again finish as the bride’s maid for the third year.
In 2011 and 2013, Chong Wei lost to his arch-rival and nemesis Lin Dan of China but since the later did not qualify for the World Championships this year, it was seen as Chong Wei’s best opportunity to win his first world title.
From the word go at the Ballerup Super Arena, Chong Wei who had beaten Chen Long in nine out of their 17 meetings over a five-year period, had difficulty breaking down Chen Long’s solid defence and found himself trailing for most parts of the match.
Chen Long who had beaten Tommy Sugiarto in the semifinals yesterday, managed to retrieve shots that looked like sure winners, thus frustrating Chong Wei on several occasions.
After losing the first game, Chong Wei who was trailing 4-10 in the second game tried to exert some pressure and succeeded in drawing level at 12-12 and 14-14 but the lanky Chinese star managed to find an extra punch to knock out Chong Wei’s attempts every time he closed the gap.
“Chen Long played an aggressive game and I tried to avoid making mistakes but it kept coming…and he (Chen Long) managed to return every shot that I had played,” said Chong Wei after the match.
Chong Wei who apologized for not fulfilling the expectation of the nation which celebrated Independence Day today, also admitted that he was a little cautious in the first game and when he fell behind, pressure had started mounting.
The Penangite, 31, however, vowed to try again at the next World Championships hosted by Indonesia in 2015 and continue his search for the
elusive gold medal in the Olympics by competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Chen Long said the victory meant a lot to him after suffering a major upset in the previous two editions beside giving him a major boost to prepare for the upcoming 2014 Incheon Asian Games in South Korea.
“I’m really happy to win the world championships for the first time. I would like to thank (China’s Head Coach), Li Yongbo who had encouraging words after my disastrous outing in the 2014 Thomas Cup in India early this year,” he said adding that Chong Wei’s fighting spirit in the closely-contested match deserved praise. – BERNAMA