World No.1 Lee cruises through to Japan final

Source:AFP-Global Times Published: 2013-9-22 1:08:01

Malaysia's world No.1 Lee Chong Wei crushed fifth-seeded Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam to reach the Japan Open final on Saturday, brushing aside controversy­ at home over the resignation­ of his coach.

The top seed and defending champion­ whipped the world bronze medalist 21-10, 21-5 in 29 minutes in their semifinal at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

"Nguyen is a kind of player who can return wherever you hit so I kept on hitting patiently and went all out for any good chance I found," Lee said.

Lee will play the seventh seed and hometown favorite Kenichi Tago on Sunday, hoping to lift a record fourth Japan Open title.

Tago beat the Chinese mainland's Gao Huan 21-12, 21-12 in the other semi­final.

On Thursday, Rashid Sidek tendered his resignation as Malaysia's national singles coach, according to press ­reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Rashid - who was not in Tokyo - reportedly said he was frustrated and disappointed with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) over its treatment of coaches.

"Before I left Malaysia I was aware of various issues concerning the coaches," Lee said through an interpreter after his semifinal win.

"But I am an athlete and for now I want to concentrate on my game and win," said the 30-year-old, who was stretchered off with cramp and dehydration­ in the world championship final against his arch-rival Lin Dan last month.

Asked how he felt about the BAM, Lee said, "As an athlete, it may be impossible for me to change anything about the association."

Lee has not lost a single game in reaching the final, while the Chinese mainland's­ second seed Chen Long crashed out in the first round.

An all-Japanese women's final was set up after Akane Yamaguchi beat Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying 26-24, 21-14 and Shizuka Uchida shocked fourth seed Wang Yihan of the Chinese mainland.

AFP - Global Times

Posted in: Miscellany, Eye on the ball

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