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LONDON: Malaysia is assured of at least a silver medal in the London Olympics after Datuk Lee Chong Wei powered his way into the singles final with a 21-13, 21-14 triumph over China’s Chen Long at the Wembley arena yesterday.
Though Chong Wei was braced for a stormy time against Chen Long, who beat him three times in their last five clashes, the Malaysian produced a commanding performance in the semi-finals.
Chong Wei’s success in reaching tomorrow’s final against China’s Lin Dan is remarkable, considering that he had just come back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for six weeks.
In beating ChenLong,Chong Wei became the first Malaysian to reach the men’s singles final in two consecutive Olympics. He was runner-up to Lin Dan in the Beijing Games in 2008.
Coaches Tey seu Bock and rashid sidek got their tactics right, and once Chong Wei seized control, as had been the plan, there was no looking back.
After scoring the final point, Chong Wei sank to the ground on his knees in relief and pumped his fists in joy. He won in 51 minutes.
“The pressure i was under was immense and i told myself that this was the final as i didn’t want to have to psyche myself up for the thirdplace playoff, which would have been very difficult,” said Chong Wei.
After having won the silver medal at the last Olympics, Chong Wei had said that he would not want to settle for the silver this time.