Published: Sunday March 10, 2013 MYT 8:27:00 AM
An explosive match awaits Chong Wei vs Chen Long
By RAJES PAUL
BIRMINGHAM: An explosive match is on the cards when World No 1 Lee Chong Wei and China's Chen Long cross sword in the men's singles final of the All-England at National Indoor Arena on Sunday.
On Saturday, top seed Chong Wei and second seed Chen Long had reached the final in contrasting fashion.
Chong Wei disposed of Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand with a 22-20, 21-8 win but Chen Long had to dig deep into reserve to beat a stubborn Jan O Jorgsensen of Denmark 21-19,22-20 in a 54-minute thrilling match.
On paper, the match in the final between the old and new star could go either way.
The 24-year-old Chen Long is strongly motivated to win his first All-England title and make up for the absence of two-time Olympic Games champion Lin Dan of China. His more famous senior is currently, enjoying a short break.
Chong Wei on the other hand wants to nail his third All-England title and keep his winning streak intact this year.
Chong Wei, the Korean and Malaysian Open champion, has vowed to save his best for Sunday's final.
"I am going all out to win my third All-England title here. I am not worried about my opponent. I am focused on bringing out the best in me," he said.
In the women's singles, Thailand made up for Tanongsak's defeat through Ratchanok Intanon when the 18-year-old stunned Saina Nehwal of India 22-15, 21-17 to become the first Thai women to reach the final of the All-England.
The three-time world junior champion Ratchanok takes on veteran of the game Tine Rasmussen of Denmark in the final today. Rasmussen is bidding for a perfect farewell to her career by winning the All-England for the third time.
Ratchanok however, is ready to spoil the party.
"Becoming the first Thai women's singles to reach the final is great but my dream will only come true when I win it. If I am calm and composed, I have a chance," she said.
The only other time that Thai made it to the final of the All-England was through mixed doubles pair Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee in 2011.
It was also a first for Japan in the men's doubles when Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa stormed into the final after defeating Thailand's Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech 22-20, 21-15.
They will take on China's Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan in a bid to become Japan's All-England men's doubles champions for the first time.
Men's singles: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 22-20, 21-8; Chen Long (Chn) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-19, 22-20.
Men's doubles: Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan (Chn) bt Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) 21-12, 13-21, 21-17; Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) bt Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) 22-20, 21-15.
Women's singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Saina Nehwal (Ind) 21-15, 21-19; Tine Rasmussen (Den) bt Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) 24-22, 19-21, 21-19.
Women's doubles: Yu Yang-Wang Xiaoli (Chn) bt Miyuki Maeda-Satoko Suetsuna (Jpn) 21-11, 21-16; Cheng Shu-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua (Chn) 21-18, 21-7.
Mixed doubles: Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth (Ina) 18-21, 21-15, 21-19; Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn) bt Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto (Ina) 21-17, 21-16.