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  Rio 2016: Chen Long beats Lee Chong Wei for men’s gold

Rio 2016: Chen Long beats Lee Chong Wei for men’s gold

Published : Aug 21, 2016, 1:01 am IST
Updated : Aug 21, 2016, 1:01 am IST

An emotional Chen Long of China on the podium. (Photo: AFP)

An emotional Chen Long of China on the podium. (Photo: AFP)

China’s Chen Long inflicted more Olympic heartache on Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei with a straight games win for gold in the men’s badminton singles final on Saturday.

Chen took both games 21-18 to consign Lee to a third consecutive defeat in an Olympic Games final.

It was a first gold medal for world number two Chen, who won bronze at London 2012, but a third straight silver for the top-ranked Lee.

Despite being one of the sport’s most accomplished players, the Malaysian has never won a world or Olympic title.

He lost the previous two Games finals to Chinese arch-rival Lin Dan.

At the age of 33 it is virtually certain that his career will end without that elusive Olympic gold medal while Malaysia’s hunt for a first gold in any sport continues.

Chen took an early 11-8 lead in what turned out to be the deciding game before stretching his hold over Lee to 20-15.

There was no way back for the quiet Malaysian and Chen celebrated by running with his shirt off to the Chinese fans at the Riocentro venue.

‘Drained’ Lin bats off retirement talk Chinese superstar Lin, regarded by some as badminton’s greatest-ever player, batted off retirement talk after leaving the Rio Games empty-handed on Saturday with a bronze-medal-match defeat to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.

The double Olympic champion took the first set 21-15 but tired to lose the following two games 21-10, 21-17 in a defeat that likely brought the curtain down on his hallowed Games career. “I was pretty drained from yesterday’s match,” Lin said, referring to his semi-final defeat to arch-nemesis Lee .

“However in the third game of today’s match I think my opponent got lucky because there were several shots at the net that I didn’t perform very well,” he added.

Location: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro