KUCHING (MALAYSIA), April 9: China�s Lin Dan, a two-time Olympic champion, today engineered a brilliantly ruthless strategy against arch-rival Malaysian world number one Lee Chong Wei to win his first ever Malaysia Open badminton title.
Showing no sign of fatigue, 33-year-old Lin pushed Lee, one year his senior, from back to front, forcing the recent All England Open winner into unforced errors to bag a win 21-19, 21-14 in 55 minutes.
The two badminton veterans started cautiously, and Lee, the favourite in the tournament, began securing points with his killer cross-court smashes. But Lin kept his calm, resorting to long rallies, swift returns and precision net play to defeat Lee.
With the unexpected victory, Lin has now won every major title the sport has to offer.
�My main target was to break my jinx at this Malaysian Open. We both played well and showed a high level of badminton. Me are Lee are both ageing, and so I cherish every moment we play each other in a big tournament,� he said.
Although partisan, the crowd cheered both ageing icons, boosting the morale of the shuttlers who demonstrated agility and power play and reminded critics that they are not ready to retire.
Lee began the contest as the attacking player, pushing Lin to make unforced errors, but he could not hold on to his 19-15 advantage in the first game.
This allowed Lin to storm back into contention with six straight points to win 21-19.
Lin continued his domination in the second game, staying focused and sticking to long rallies to build a lead of 11-8.
Lin�s strong challenge for points saw Lee in the final shot hitting the shuttle wide, allowing Lin to take the second game 21-14. � AFP