Badminton: Lee Chong Wei beats Olympic champion Chen Long to win Hong Kong Open

Lee Chong Wei celebrating after defeating Chen Long at the Hong Kong Open on Nov 26, 2017.
Lee Chong Wei celebrating after defeating Chen Long at the Hong Kong Open on Nov 26, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Former badminton world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei clinched the Hong Kong Open on Sunday by defeating Olympic champion Chen Long 21-14, 21-19, defying expectations that the all-time great may be reaching his end.

China's Chen, who beat world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark to win the China Open for a fourth time the previous week, was stunned by 35-year-old Malaysian, whose world ranking has fallen to No. 6 as he approaches the latter stages of his career.

Lee's triumph came at a time when his old nemesis Lin Dan of China suffered defeats in the China Open and the quarter-finals in Hong Kong last week. He had lost to Chen in the Rio Olympic final in August last year.

In the women's singles, world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei stunned India's Pusarla V. Sindhu 21-18, 21-18 as the young leading seeds slogged it out in a 45-minute battle.

Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, 22, also lost out to the 23-year-old Taiwanese star in last year's Hong Kong Open.

China's Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong took just 35 minutes to seal a 21-15, 21-13 victory over Danish shuttlers Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen in the mixed doubles final.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo of Indonesia beat Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark 21-12, 21-18 in the men's doubles final.

Top seeded Chinese duo Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan clawed their way back from a deficit in a battle lasting one hour and 10 minutes, defeating Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu 14-21, 21-16, 21-15 in the women's doubles final.

Singapore's unseeded mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han shocked China's sixth seeds Lu Kai and Tang Jinhua in the opening round 21-17, 21-13. They then beat qualifiers Alfian Eko Prasetya and Melati Daeva Oktavianti from Indonesia 21-13, 21-15 before losing 16-21, 13-21 to unseeded Japanese Takuro Hoki and Sayaka Hirota in the quarter-finals.