Badminton: Lee through to semi-finals at Malaysian Open

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei gestures after defeating Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei gestures after defeating Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's badminton ace Lee Chong Wei is through to the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open after dispatching Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in a quarterfinal match on Friday.

Lee, ranked third in the world, displayed confidence and fine form in the 40-minute game with swift attacks and a sturdy defence to win 21-14, 21-13.

He had missed last year's edition because of a suspension after testing positive for dexamethasone, a banned anti-inflammatory, at the world championships in Copenhagen in 2014.

But in April last year the Badminton World Federation said Lee "accidentally" had ingested the banned substance and handed him an eight-month backdated ban, which effectively cleared him to resume his career.

"I controlled the game and was confident from the start. This was my best game to date and I am hoping for strong crowd support ahead of the semi-finals," said Lee, who will square-off against Danish shuttler Jan O Jorgensen, ranked fifth in the world, in the next round on Saturday.

"Jorgensen will be a tough proposition, especially after his big win. But my record against him is great and I hope to better it when I play him," added Lee, who has repeatedly said he wants to realise his Olympic dreams this year.

Jorgensen cruised past a limp Lin Dan in the quarterfinals, wrapping up a 21-17, 21-4 triumph in 32-minutes to send the tattooed Chinese superstar, ranked number three in the world, packing.

"I feel good after beating one of the favourites. He is one of my idols and I grew up watching him, but he will be ever dangerous when the Olympics comes along," said Jorgensen.

In another quarterfinal match, world number one Chen Long defeated compatriot Tian Houwei 21-16, 21-16 and will meet Indonesia's Jonatan Christie in the semi-finals.