Thursday, 23 May 2024

News | BWF World Championships

World No.1 Lee Chong Wei delivers an exceptional performance, bringing him one step closer to the Men’s Singles World Championship title that would solidify his legendary status. Lee’s trademark balanced movement and increased ratio of winners compared to his usual gameplay allowed him to swiftly defeat Viktor Axelsen in just 33 minutes. The semi-final match concluded with a convincing score of 21-9, 21-7, a lesson that Axelsen will not soon forget. This victory marks Lee’s third consecutive World Championship final appearance, leaving fans in awe that such a remarkable player has yet to claim the title.

Lee, in high spirits, acknowledges his improvement throughout the tournament and expresses his desire to continue to excel. The pressure to become a World champion weighs heavily on him, as his country is eager for a victory. However, he remains determined to enjoy the challenge.

Axelsen’s chance to challenge Lee’s dominance only materialized briefly at the start of the second game. Despite the support of his 5,000 fans, Axelsen struggled to regain control as Lee swiftly regained his footing. Axelsen’s clever flick lift shot at 5-5 momentarily surprised Lee, but it was short-lived as Lee retaliated with a flick serve and shifted into overdrive, allowing his opponent only two more points. Axelsen acknowledges that Lee was the better player on the day and accepts his defeat graciously.

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In the women’s category, Li Xuerui, the top seed, secures her place in the final after a swift victory over Minatsu Mitani in just a fraction less time than Lee’s match. Li demonstrates her exceptional stroke-making skills, overpowering Mitani 21-8, 21-14. Despite Mitani’s improved performance in the second game, Li remains composed and stays one step ahead of her opponent, ultimately securing her victory. Li’s coach and her had devised a plan to counter Mitani’s resurgence, and their strategy proved successful.

With this win, Mitani secures a bronze medal, becoming the first Japanese Women’s Singles player to achieve a World Championship medal since Hiroe Yuki in 1977.

In the Women’s Doubles category, China is on track to win their 11th consecutive title. Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing join Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli in the final. The latter’s win over Reika Kakiiwa and Miyuki Maeda of Japan earns them a chance to lift the title for the third consecutive time, a feat never before accomplished in this category.

Surprisingly, the Men’s Doubles final will feature an unexpected pair. The No.12 seeds, Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Choel of Korea, advance to the final without playing a single shuttle. Their compatriots, Kim Ki Jung and Kim Sa Rang, withdrew from the tournament due to Sa Rang’s neck injury.