Lee Chong Wei has triumphed at the All-England badminton tournament edging past his nemesis Lin Dan 21-17, 21-17 in an explosive final, one of the most absorbing in recent times.
This was a different Chong Wei, who in the past had invariably capitulated to Lin Dan in major finals. This time he displayed a rare tenacity that surprised his opponent.
Chong Wei’s defence was superb, and he resisted the familiar lapses of concentration that, in the past, allowed Lin Dan to race ahead. Instead, his leaping overhead smashes, the shuttle often landing on the sidelines, were as explosive as Lin Dan’s net returns were exquisite. The bullet-like exchanges between the game’s two stand-out players, performing at their peak, were breath-taking.
In the end, Chong Wei dispelled the widespread doubts over his World No. 1 status by overcoming his more fancied opponent to retain the title as a large contingent of vociferous Malaysian fans celebrated.