Chong Wei shrugs off heartbreak to defeat nemesis Lin Dan

Chong Wei  (left) and Lin Dan hug after the match in their mutual respect for each other. — Reuters pic
Chong Wei (left) and Lin Dan hug after the match in their mutual respect for each other. — Reuters pic

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 19 — Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei shrugged off eight years of Olympic heartbreak today to defeat his nemesis Lin Dan 15-21, 21-11, 22-20 and reach the final of the men’s badminton after another classic encounter.

Having succumbed to Lin in the gold medal deciders at London and Beijing, top seed Lee gained sweet revenge by dumping out the Chinese great after a decisive set of unrelenting tension.

Struggling with fatigue and huge mental pressure, the veteran rivals battled point-for-point before Lee broke away late to secure three match points.

Lin saved them all but Lee sealed the fourth with a nerveless cross-court volley to raise thunderous cheers from Malaysian fans.

Lee will fight for the gold against the Chinese world champion Chen Long, who beat Dane Viktor Axelsen in the second semi-final 21-14, 21-15. — Reuters

* Jubilation at Dataran Putrajaya

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