Want to beat Chen Long? Get fitter


ODENSE (Denmark): China’s Chen Long showed he’s still a cut above the rest in world badminton.

On Sunday, Chen Long launched a flurry of smashes to subdue Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia 21-12, 21-12 in 45 minutes in the men’s singles final at the Denmark Open.

It was the world No. 1’s seventh title this season. He pocketed the world title, four Superseries crowns in England, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea and one Grand Prix Gold in Taiwan. He also helped China win the Sudirman Cup in China in May.

Former national coach Rashid Sidek, who now coaches the Cheras-based club Sport Affairs, was impressed by Chen Long’s performance.

“Chen Long seems unshakable with his long reach, solid defence and powerful attacks. And he is super fit. He played for more than an hour against Hong Kong’s Wei Nan (in the quarter-finals), Dane Viktor Axelsen (semi-finals) and yet displayed high quality in final game against Tommy,” said Rashid, who coaches the Indonesian at Sport Affairs.

Rashid believes the only way for Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and the rest of the world to break Chen Long’s domination is to step up on their fitness and develop a new weapon in their game.

“Chong Wei has to improve his fitness if he hopes to make his mark in international tournament again,” said Rashid.

Chong Wei, who lost in the early rounds of the Japan and Korean Opens last month, went down in straight games to Wei Nan in the Denmark Open second round on Thursday.

Chong Wei will now play in the French Open, which begins in Paris on Wednesday. The 32-year-old is in the top half of the draw with Chen Long, Tommy, Axelsen, Wei Nan, Kento Momota of Japan and Son Wan-ho of South Korea.

In the lower half of the draw with second seed Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark are Lin Dan of China, K. Srikanth of India and Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan. 

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