RIO DE JANEIRO: It was not third time lucky for Lee Chong Wei at the Rio Olympics as he had to contend with a third silver medal losing 18-21, 18-21 in 73 minutes, to China’s Chen Long.
Still it was a proud way for the World Number 1 to end his Olympic career, as he is likely to make way for younger talents before Tokyo2020.
The action seemingly continued from yeterday’s semifinal as Chong Wei went head-to-head with Chen Long in the badminton men’s single final.
Both players kept the score close and exchanged the lead a few times for the first half of the first set.
The action was intense and a few line calls were challenged and World Number 2 Chen Long ultimately took an unassailable lead.
Chong Wei gave a gallant fightback but the set, went to Chen Long 21-18 in 35 minutes, which was just a minute shorter than the epic rubber game between the Malaysian and Lin Dan yesterday.
The second half started strong for Chen Long and he went to a quick 4-1 lead, but World Number 1 Chong Wei soon made it 4-4, with the next point going to China.
At 4-5 Chong Wei had a strong run scoring four on the trot to make it 8-5. However, as if to show he was not going to be outshined, Chen Long won six successive points and from that 11-5 he carried on keeping a minimum of three points ahead.
At 16-20, Chong Wei narrowed the score with two more points, but it proved too steep a deficit to overcome and Chen Long took the set 21-18 in 38 minutes.
Chong Wei gets another silver for his efforts and Malaysia got its third in badminton at the Rio Olympics. With a fourth silver from diving and one bronze in cycling, Malaysia ends its Rio Olympic adventure with a record medal haul.
Congratulations to the Malaysian contingent and our proud medal winners – Lee Chong Wei, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Goh Liu Ying, Chan Peng Soong, Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong and Azizulhasni Awang.