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Published: Sunday November 25, 2012 MYT 8:43:00 PMUpdated: Sunday November 25, 2012 MYT 9:09:40 PM
HONG KONG: China's Chen Long put on a display of explosive athleticism to beat Malaysian world number one Lee Chong Wei in the final of the Hong Kong Open badminton championships on Sunday, as Chinese players stormed to a clean sweep of the titles.
With thousands of spectators cheering him on, second-seeded Chen won 21-19, 21-17 against the Olympic silver medallist, who was the tournament's top seed but ended the men's singles final looking exhausted.
"I didn't think that I would win, but I thought I had the ability to beat him so the results are pretty good," said Chen, who was fresh from victory last week in the China Open.
But the result was a bitter disappointment for Lee, who had defeated Chen in the semi-finals of the London Olympics in August.
"I just come in and try, and enjoy the Hong Kong Open... I got to the finals, which is good," said a tired-looking Lee, who is seven years older than 23-year-old Chen.
"These past few days, I don't feel that well after competing," he said, adding that he would rest for a while after the tournament.
It was a triumphant night for China, who won in every category of the tournament.
In the women's doubles, controversial Chinese pair Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli lost to compatriots Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, 22-20, 14-21, 21-17, in a spirited contest which lasted for one hour and 13 minutes.
Spectators loudly cheered on the players during the closely-fought match, with games sometimes lasting more than 10 rallies.
"I feel today, the both of us, we are feeling a bit tired, and I have some injuries", Yu said, adding that it affected her ability to run during the game.
Yu and Wang were were among eight players disqualified from the London Olympics for attempting to drop round-robin games in a bid to secure a favourable quarter-final draw.
Yu said she would retire shortly after being disqualified, but resumed playing at the China Open, which she and Wang won last Sunday, after being cleared by sporting authorities.
Yu on Tuesday denied she still planned to quit.
In the women's singles finals, Li Xuerui of China beat fellow countrywoman and world number one Wang Yihan 21-12, 11-3. Wang left the game early due to an injury.
In the mixed doubles, China's Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei beat compatriots Xu Chen and Ma Jin 21-17, 21-17.
There was further disappointment for Malaysia when Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong lost to Chinese duo Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 21-16, 21-17 in the men's doubles finals. - AFP
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