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03 June 2023

Chong Wei wins Malaysia Open for Olympic boost

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei poses with his medal and trophy after winning his men's singles final match against Japan's Kenichi Tago at the Malaysia Open badminton tournament in Kuala Lumpur. (REUTERS)

By Reuters

World number one Lee Chong Wei stormed to his eighth Malaysia Open title on Sunday to give himself a confidence boost for this year's London Olympics. 

The 29-year-old overpowered Japan's Kenichi Tago 21-6 21-13 in just 36 minutes as he tied fellow Malaysian Wong Peng Soon's record number of home titles won between 1940 and 1953. 

Chong Wei immediately set his sights on the Olympics badminton title.  

"It's a great feeling to equal a legend's record and now I can focus all my energy on winning Malaysia's first Olympic gold medal," he told reporters. 

Chong Wei suffered a heavy defeat by China's Lin Dan at the 2008 Beijing Games and squandered two match points before losing to his arch-rival at last year's world championships in London. 

But he beat Lin in the final of the Korea Open last week, before tearing through his home tournament. 

"I will cut down my tournament commitments to focus on the Olympics," added Chong Wei, who earned $30,000 for the victory. "The win is a good Chinese New Year present for me. 

"But I suspect China are preparing all-out for the Olympics so I'll have to work even harder." 

China's Wang Yihan won the Malaysia Open women's singles title, beating compatriot Wang Xin 21-19 21-11.