Malaysian badminton star Lee suffers shock defeat

Lee Chong Wei, 35. (AFP pic)

SHANGHAI: Lee Chong Wei suffered a shock defeat in the Asia Championships semi-finals on Saturday, the Malaysian great going down in straight sets to rising Japanese star Kento Momota.

The 35-year-old Lee, fresh from winning Commonwealth Games gold and reaching the end of one of badminton’s great careers, lost 21-19, 21-14 to the unseeded Momota.

The 23-year-old Momota will play China’s Rio 2016 Olympic champion Chen Long in Sunday’s final in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Chen, the third seed, was an emphatic 21-16, 21-18 winner over India’s unseeded HS Prannoy in the other semi-final.

In the women’s draw, top seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan will play China’s Chen Yufei in the final.

Tai defeated India’s former world number one Saina Nehwal 27-25, 21-19 in a tight affair over 45 nervy minutes, ensuring a miserable day for India.

Home player Chen, the sixth seed, was a comfortable 21-12, 21-13 victor over the South Korean seventh seed Sung Ji-hyun in the other semi-final clash.