JAKARTA – Former World number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s dream of clinching the 2015 World Badminton Championships was cut short when he lost to defending champion Chen Long of China at the Istora Senayan here today.
In the match that lasted one hour and five minutes, Chen Long who was in his element, overcame Chong Wei 21-14, 21-17 in straight sets.
After losing the first set rather tamely despite taking the lead in the early stages, tried to make a comeback in the second set but Chen Long proved he was the stronger of the two.
“I must concede Chen Long played exceptionally well today, I could not do much despite putting up my best and changing the rhythm of the game,” he said when met after the match.
Chong Wei said he understood the hopes of all Malaysians and was disappointed to lose but he would not give up.
“I will not give up as I will be participating in several tournaments this year and focus on qualifying for the Olympics next year. I will try something different if I could meet Chen Long again,” he said.
For the record, this is the 12th win for Chen Long in his 21 encounters with Chong Wei.
At the same championship last year, Chen Long also beat Chong Wei in the final before the Malaysian was suspended for failing a dope test.
Coach Hendrawan said Chong Wei had done his best and despite pressuring Chen Long in the second set, his Chinese nemesis was in his element today.
“So now we have to find a way to improve tactically and it is not an easy matter, I apologise for the loss,” he said.
He said Chong Wei’s tactic of changing his rhythm had enabled him to beat his opponents in the earlier rounds but today the situation favoured Chen Long. – BERNAMA