Chong Wei stays dominant in Japan Open with sixth title


Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia celebrates during the awards ceremony after his victory in the men's singles final against Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark at the Japan Open badminton tournament in Tokyo on September 25, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei hopes no shuttler will break his record of six Japan Open titles.

The world No. 1 became the most successful men’s singles player at the championships when he battled his way to a 21-18, 15-21, 21-16 win over Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark in a thrilling 70-minute final in Tokyo on Sunday.

It was Chong Wei’s 17th win in 18 meetings over Jorgensen, but one of his hardest in years. Chong Wei’s only loss to the Dane was at the China Open first round in 2009.

Three-time Olympic silver medallist Chong Wei was happy with his achievement.

“I am so proud to win my sixth Japan Open title. I cherish this record and I hope no one will break it,” said Chong Wei, who was also the winner in 2007 and 2010 and then from 2012-2014.

“I saw Jorgensen’s match against Son Wan-ho (of South Korea) in the semi-finals (on Saturday) and I knew he was in-form. He played well but I was equally determined not to lose – not after winning every single match against him for the last seven years,” added Chong Wei, who will be 34 on Oct 21.

Chong Wei was slow off the starting blocks, but he managed to step on the gas to take the opener.

Determined not to lose again, Jorgensen came charging back like a bull in the second game.

The Dane kept the heat on Chong Wei throughout the game, often slamming down lightning-quick returns at the front court. He was rewarded for his determination with a 21-15 win.

It looked as though Jorgensen would emerge victorious after taking a 6-2 lead in the decider. But Chong Wei fought back to lead 17-16. It was at this juncture that Jorgensen made a few costly errors and Chong Wei pulled away to celebrate his 44th Superseries title and 65th overall.

Chong Wei said that he would skip the Korean Open starting in Seoul on Wednesday to concentrate on the Denmark and French Open Superseries in October.

“Many top players took a rest after the Olympic Games (in Rio de Janeiro in August), but I obliged my sponsor Yonex’s request to play in Japan. Now, I need a rest before playing in Denmark and France,” said Chong Wei.

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