World No 1 reaches sev­enth All Eng­land fi­nal

New Straits Times - - Sport - RE­PORTS BY FABIAN PETER

IN a quick turn of events, Lee Chong Wei reached his sev­enth All Eng­land fi­nal yesterday. Just a month back, the World No 1 was on the brink of miss­ing what could be his last All Eng­land af­ter suf­fer­ing a torn me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment (MCL) dur­ing train­ing at the Academy Bad­minton Malaysia (ABM).

In the semi-fi­nal stage against World No 9 Chou Tien Chen of Tai­wan, Chong Wei clawed back from a game down to win the match in style 10-21, 21-14, 21-9 in just un­der an hour at the Bar­clay­card Arena.

Na­tional coach Tey Seu Bock, was over the moon, es­pe­cially when Chong Wei had only a week of full train­ing ses­sions be­fore fly­ing to Birm­ing­ham.

“I am ex­tremely happy with how Chong Wei has turned things around for him­self here,” said Seu Bock.

“Every­one knows that he al­most did not make it for the tour­na­ment fol­low­ing his in­jury but to come here, play so well and then reach the fi­nal is a re­mark­able feat.

“To be frank, I don’t think he is at his best yet, which means he can be bet­ter in up­com­ing com­pe­ti­tions. Af­ter all he only had a week of full train­ing ses­sions be­fore com­ing here.

“I don’t want to pre­dict the fi­nal re­sult but what I can say is it’s go­ing to be an epic show­down.”

Chong Wei, a three-time cham­pion (2010, 2011 and 2014) will take on the win­ner of the late semi-fi­nal match be­tween China’s Lin Dan and his com­pa­triot Shi Yuqi.

Both Chong Wei and Lin Dan have played each other in three pre­vi­ous All Eng­land fi­nals.

Five-time world cham­pion Lin Dan had won on two oc­ca­sions (2009, 2013) while Chong Wei won his sec­ond ti­tle against the China ace in 2011.

In the mixed dou­bles semi-fi­nals late yesterday, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying beat Ja­pan’s Yuta Watan­abe-Arisa Hi­gashino 2117, 21-15.

Chan Peng Soon (left) and Goh Liu Ying beat Ja­pan’s Yuta Watan­abe-Arisa Hi­gashino 21-17, 21-15 in the mixed dou­bles semi­fi­nals late yesterday.

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