Chen Long of China celebrates his victory over Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia during the men's singles final of badminton competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 20, 2016. Chen took the title of the event after beating Lee 2-1. [Photo: CCTVnews]
Chen Long of China defeated Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 21-18, 21-18 to claim the gold medal in the men's badminton singles final at the Rio Olympic Games here on Saturday.
So far, Lee has lost the last three Olympic finals, prolonging Malaysia's wait for a gold medal at the Olympics. In the last two finals, Lee lost to Chinese Lin Dan in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. This time in Rio, the Malaysian had his revenge by eliminating Lin in the semifinal. However, he failed again in the final against an overwhelming Chen.
"I feel a bit pity for not winning the gold, but this is the match. I have tried my best," said the 33-year-old Lee. "Every Olympic has different experience. For this Olympics, I trained very hard."
On the prospect of his possible retirement, Lee said before this final he doesn't have time to think about it. "My focus is to make good preparation for Rio Olympics. Now everything is over, for me the most important thing is to have a rest and then I will consider my future."
Chen also paid tribute to Lee. "Lee's three Olympic silver medals are far more valued than one gold. His fans and country should feel proud of him."
Top seed Lee held a 13-9 lead in the first game and was 8-5 in the second but was powerless to maintain his advantage against the second seed Chen.
With the cheers and applause from Chinese fans at the stand, Chen grabbed four match points by leading 20-16. Lee saved one with a sudden raid and another after Chen smashed wide.
Chen then converted his third match point and won the second gold medal for China after Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan claimed the men's doubles gold medal.
For Malaysia, it was a disappointed experience as it thrice suffered failure in the finals as it also lost in the men's doubles and mixed doubles finals.
Earlier, two-time Olympic champion Lin suffered another loss in probably his last Olympic outing, conceding 21-15, 10-21, 17-21 to Denmark's Viktor Axelson in the 70-minute bronze medal match. 1 2 3 4