CHONG WEI IN THE FINAL

With the prayers and encourgement from his mother Khoo Kim Sui who was in the spectator area, Lee Chong Wei has qualified for his second consecutive final when he trashed Chen Long 21-13, 21-14 at the Wembley Arena.

It was a load of the shoulders for Chong Wei who suffered an ankle injury that threatened to derail his Olympic hopes. However he showed much resilience and thanks to the care and attention by the National Sports Institute, Chong Wei turned the impossible to reality.

“I cannot explain just what this means to me. It is a load off my shoulders as the entire hopes of Malaysia were on me to deliver a medal. A silver is certain but that is not what I am looking at,” said Chong Wei.

“Four years ago the situation was different as it was held in Lin Dan’s backyard and now its at a neutral venue. Yes this place has bad memories for me since I was a step away from winnng the world title last year.

“The strategy was to take the first set and not allow Chen Long to dictate the play. I had a great start and he was left wondering what hit him I guess.

“My mothers presence had a calming affect on me and I am glad I won this semis as many did not give me a ghost of a chance considering that I was unable to walk two months ago.

“But I proved them wrong and the win today is something that gives me added confidenceto take on Lin dan this Sunday.”

Chong Wei had a great start as he mesmerised Chen Long with neat drops and precise smashes to take a 6-0 lead.
A half court return allowed Chen Long to collect his fisrt point at 7-1, and he followed that up with a second point, quicker at the net.
Looking confident, showing no signs of any ankle injury, Chong Wei allowed Chen Long another three points to lead 11-4 at the break.
Chen Long started using his drops effectively to catch Chong Wei as he improved on his defence to narrow the deficit to 13-7. But a misjudged shot at the baseline handed the serve to Chong Wei at 14-7.
Chong Wei dived at full length to retrieve a drop and picked himself up but lost the point when the score stood at 18-8. Such was his determination.
He sent a smash out to hand Chen Long his tenth point, but the Chinese sent his shot wide to hand the Malaysian a 19-10 lead.
A leaping smash by Chong wei gave him the set point. And another Chen Long blunder at the baseline gave Chong Wei the first set at 21-13 in 23 minutes.
In the second, Chong Wei took a 2-1, then 3-2 with some good controlled play at the net. He extended his lead to 5-2 and then 6-3 but allowed Chen Long to draw level at 6-6.
Such was Chong Wei’s domination that he was one steph ahead of Chen Long, anticipating every shot and took a 9-6 lead.
Two errors at the net allowed chen Long to reduce the deficit to 8-10 but once again he sent the shuttle wide of the baseline to allow Chong Wei a 11-9 lead at the break.
Chen Long was losing focus and made uncharacteristic mistakes to allow Chong Wei to lead 13-9 before unleashing a smash to win the serve at 10-13.
Chong Wei played a last minute shot, thinking the shuttle was out and that caught Chen Long who smashed it into the net to give Chong Wei a 14-10 lead.
He pulled away to lead 16-11 but Chen Long was not giving up without a fight as tried to push the Malaysian all over the court and reduced the deficit to 13-16.
Another smash into the net gave Chong Wei a 18-13 lead and the final was on the horizon.
He finished it off in 28 minutes to take the second set 21-14. And created history in the process.
“It was a good performance, very disciplined and focussed. Chong Wei has proven that he is made out of sterner stuff and the whole of Malaysia should be proud of him<‘ said his coach Tey Seu Bock.

“As coaches we do so much, its the player that has to deliver on the court.”