Chong Wei bows out of Games with third sin­gles ti­tle

The New Paper - - RACING -

Malaysia’s bad­minton king Lee Chong Wei was pushed all the way by world No. 1 Srikanth Ki­dambi, but pre­vailed 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 to bring the cur­tain down on his Com­mon­wealth Games ca­reer with a third men’s sin­gles gold medal yes­ter­day.

The 35-year-old won backto-back ti­tles in 2006 and 2010, but was robbed of the chance of a hat-trick when a ham­string in­jury forced him to pull out of the 2014 Games in Glas­gow.

Yes­ter­day’s vic­tory was by no means guar­an­teed, given his first ca­reer loss to Srikanth in the mixed team fi­nal last week but Lee drew on all his ex­pe­ri­ence, and the skills that kept him as world No. 1 for nearly four years from 2008.

“I lost to him in the mixed team event and I wanted to come back in the in­di­vid­ual event. It’s not easy men­tally,” said Lee, cur­rently world No. 7.

“In one week, I played him two times in the fi­nal. The first time I lost and the sec­ond time is the fi­nal in the in­di­vid­ual... I just came out and I for­got the team event and just fo­cused.”

Lee, who called this one of his most mem­o­rable achieve­ments, said he never even thought

about the 10-year age gap be­tween him and his ri­val.

“It’s only a num­ber, right,” he shrugged. “I just for­get my age.”

There was also Malaysian suc­cess in the women’s dou­bles with Chow Mei Kuan and Vi­vian Hoo tak­ing gold by beat­ing Eng­land’s Lau­ren Smith and Sarah Walker 21-12, 21-12.

In the women’s sin­gles fi­nal, which was an all-In­dian af­fair, Saina Ne­hwal won her sec­ond sin­gles ti­tle at the Games by de­feat­ing P.V. Sindhu 21-18, 23-21.

The English won the golds in the two other events – the men’s dou­bles and mixed dou­bles.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Lee Chong Wei.

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