Monday, March 14, 2011

Lee Chong Wei All England 2011

All England Badminton 2011: Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei set to defend title and stop Lin Dan the hard way

For a player who has one of the most relaxed and methodical approaches to the game, Lee Chong Wei, Malaysia's world No 1, looks like he will have to defend his All England title the hard way this week in Birmingham.

At last year's 100th All England, Chong Wei became the first non-Chinese men's singles winner since 2003 to lift the title and only the second Malaysian champion in 44 years with his 21-19, 21-19 win over Japanese starlet Kenichi Tago.

Victory meant a lot, but far more to his adoring Malaysian public. Starved of a world and Olympic badminton title, the tournament's prestige left Chong Wei fielding a call from the Malaysian Prime Minister moments after his two-set win at the National Indoor Arena.

The Commonwealth title followed - he beat England's Rajiv Ouseph in a one-sided final - before political in-fighting at the Badminton Association of Malaysia left Chong Wei without a coach at the start of the year.

Misbun Sidek resigned on New Year's Eve after Malaysian badminton's hierarchy said he could no longer coach his son and other junior shuttlers.

The governing body had hoped the mess would be sorted and that Misbun would stay on at least until the London Olympic Games, but since January Sidek has yet to offer any hint of a return.


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