Chong Wei looks four months ahead to Rio Olympics

Kuala Lumpur, April 10 (IANS) Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who beat world No.1 shuttler Chen Long of China to bag his 11th Malaysia Open title here on Sunday, is looking ahead to winning his first ever Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro in August.

The 33-year-old had some tough time recently, after being eliminated from the All England Open and India Open in the first and second rounds, respectively, reports Xinhua.

Back home, the Malaysian fans gave their unwavering support to the two-time Olympic runner-up, who missed the last Malaysia Open due to a doping ban.

“Last two tournaments I was not playing well, somebody said Chong Wei was old and should retire,” he said, “That’s common, as an athlete I have to accept what people say.

“I would like to thank for the support and the trust from media and fans, this is one of my motivation to prepare for the Olympics in the next five months,” he told a press conference.

“No matter how much the difficulties, this is the five months. I will try my best for the Olympics that I have waited for four years.”

Chong Wei said he had promised to play until the Southeast Asian Games to be held in Malaysia next year, so this might be his last performance at the Malaysia Open.

He defeated Chen 21-13 and 21-8 in 42 minutes, extending his winning streak against the Chinese two-time reigning world champion to three games.

“I didn’t expect a victory against Chen Long in two straight sets, and the second set I was leading by a wide margin,” Chong Wei said after the match.

“Winning the first set gave me confidence which help me to forget the tiredness, so I can keep on attacking.”

Despite losing the final on Sunday, Chen expressed his admiration toward Lee. “Keeping such a good form at this age would be a dream of every young players,” he said.

Chen as well as Lin Dan, who defeated the Malaysian in the past two Olympic men’s singles finals, will be the biggest opponents in Chong Wei’s pursuit of the Olympic gold metal.

Both 27-year-old Chen and 32-year-old Lin have showed unstable forms recently, but Lee said he believed the Chinese shuttlers must have their own strategies.

“What’s important is that I have my own strategy and be the best of myself,” he said.

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