Lee Chong Wei savours final CWG bow

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2018

An overcome Lee collapsed on his back with his hands over his face as he made it a Commonwealth hat-trick to add to a trophy haul that also includes three Olympic silvers.

In the apex clash of Men's Singles Badminton contest at the Games, Srikanth comfortably defeated England's Rajiv Ouseph in the semi-final on Saturday and, cruised to the finale of the event. Lee won the final set 21-14 and the game 19-21, 21-14, 21-14.

Srikanth, who has repeatedly troubled his opponents with hard cross-court smashes in this CWG, was unable to execute the same against Chong Wei and could only claim a Silver.

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In the tense, all-Indian women's final, Delhi 2010 victor Nehwal grabbed her second gold against the younger and higher-ranked Sindhu, the Rio 2016 silver medallist. But Lee shook off his initial troubles to gradually come into own and subdue his younger rival with an awesome performance.

Sunday's victory was by no means guaranteed awarded his first career loss to Srikanth from the mixed team the other day but Chong Wei drew on all his knowledge, and also the skills that retained him as world number 1 for almost 4 years out of 2008. He is the fourth Malaysian player after Rashid idek, Roslin Hashim and Wong Choong Hann to achieve such a ranking, and is the only Malaysian shuttler to hold the number one ranking for more than a year. That turned out to be the only bit of celebration that Srikanth and his Indian fans among the sell-out crowd will manage on the day. Srikanth led 11-9 at the break. Lee was on a completely different level in the next game. Srikanth was 0-4 down at the start of the first game before making a comeback in eight minutes to take 11-9 lead at mid-game interval, after which Lee worked hard to equalise.

Srikanth went some way to justifying his lofty ranking as he raced ahead 21-19 in the first game of the final on Australia's Gold Coast. Lee led 18-10 at one point and looked comfortable to the course of victory.

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