Top seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia finally came inches close to his maiden Olympic gold medal by defeating China’s Lin Dan 15-21, 21-11, 22-20 at the men’s badminton semi-finals of Rio Olympics.
Lee will now face the winner of the Friday’s semi-finals between Chinese world champion Chen Long and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark for his maiden gold medal, reported Reuters. This match also marked Lee’s eight-years long wait to snatch the Olympic medal.
Lee began the match disastrously and the first game went easily to Lin 15-21. However, Lee fought back in the second game and managed to pull it from Lin 21-11. In the deciding third one, Lin played his best-ever nerve biting performance of the tournament, saving three match points. But Lee won the match 22-20, and booked ticket for the finals.
The win was a sweet revenge for Lee, who earlier lost to Lin on two occasions at the London and Beijing Olympics for the gold medal bout.
The defeat came as a big surprise for the 3rd ranked Lin who is a two-time Olympic champion. The match was an intensely fought one as the Chinese legend played his best-ever game.
Lin played hard for each point, however, fate was with Lee today as he managed to pull a win from Lin by securing three crucial match points.
Lin battled all pressure and cheers from the Malaysian fans, as he managed to save the match points.
However, Lee finished the match with a fourth one, much to the delight of the Malaysian fans.
The match is considered to be one of the best fought recent Olympic as both players have been rated as the game’s best- ever. Both players are over 30 and this match would be their last Olympic meeting also.
The win marks, the descend of China’s monopoly in badminton events at the Olympics, say experts.