Datuk Lee Chong Wei is back on track towards scoring the Olympic Gold after winning his eighth home title at the Maybank Malaysia Open at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday, defeating Japan’s Kenichi Tago 21-6, 21-13 in the final.
It has been a fabulous run for Chong Wei over the last two weeks. He
won the Korea Open by beating China's Olympic champion Lin Dan. He then
took on another rival from China, Chen Long, during the
semi-finals of the Malaysia Open.
Chong Wei said winning back-to-back titles made for a great Chinese New Year celebration but he would remain cautious of a China backlash as far as his Olympic Games preparation was concerned.
“I ended last season with three semi-final defeats, in the China and Hong Kong Opens and the World Super Series Finals, to my rivals from China. It was towards the end of the year and I was mentally drained.
“I’m happy that I have got my momentum back again,” said Chong Wei.
“I beat Lin Dan at the Korea Open and Chen Long in the Malaysia Open. They are my two main rivals for the Olympics and I am naturally very happy as it is a major confidence boost.
“But I’m sure they will come back stronger. They will still be my main opponents in the battle for gold. I have to stay focused and not let these wins go to my head.”
Commenting on Chong Wei's successful run, national men’s singles coach Tey Seu Bock says he believes that although he's is not 100% yet, his recent performances indicate that it will only get better from here on:
“He is definitely not in top condition yet but winning the Korea and Malaysia Opens shows that he is still very much capable of beating both Lin Dan and Chen Long,” said Seu Bock.
“He has proven that he deserves respect on court and his early good form has done his confidence a world of good leading up to the Olympics in July.
“But although he is in good shape to win his third All-England and, perhaps, the Olympic gold, he can’t slacken because I believe China will be attempting to disrupt his focus.
The 29-year-old currently equals with the record of the late great Wong Peng Soon, who had captured the title eight times in 1940, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953. Chong Wei is determined to make the record all his own with a ninth triumph next year.
The following are the official scores from yesterday's tournament: