# ‘I am sorry’ says Chong Wei to Malaysians after his defeat to Chen Long
# ‘Chen Long was a better player in the final’ – Chong Wei
By Rizal Abdullah
Overcome with emotions and his voice breaking Malaysia’s No 1 shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei apologized to the people of Malaysia for his failure to win the elusive gold medal after featuring in three Olympic finals.
The Penangite fell at the final once again – this time to second seeded Chen Long of China in the Rio Olympics men’s singles badminton final in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
The Malaysian fell to Chen Long 18-21, 18-21 in a 74 minute final at Riocentro Pavilion 4 and with that came another silver medal – his third in as many Olympics after defeats in the final at the Beijing Olympics (2008) and London Olympics (2012) – where he lost on both occasions to his nemesis Lin Dan.
In Rio, the 33-year-old Chong Wei was Malaysia’s best hope to win the gold medal after Malaysia lost the finals in the mixed doubles (Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying) and men’s doubles (Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong).
“I am sorry for the people of Malaysia who had placed high hopes on me to win the gold and give Malaysia their first-ever Olympic gold medal.
“Chen Long turned out to be the better player in the final. He just rose to the occasion thwarted all that I did against him,” said Chong Wei.
Chong Wei’s win over Lin Dan in the semi-finals raised high hopes of him winning the gold medal in Rio, more so when he had also beaten Chen Long for the Asian title in China earlier this year.
For the record Chen Long also beat Chong Wei in the final to win the world title in Jakarta in August last year. With the defeat in Rio the Malaysian ace is not likely to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Lin Dan is also also expected to give it a miss.
Lin Dan’s glittering Olympic career came to a disastrous end when he was beaten by Denmark’s rising star Viktor Axelsen in the bronze medal playoff. The Dane beat the Chinese superstar 15-21, 21-10, 21-17 in a 73 minute match.
Chen Long (Chn) beat Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 21-18, 21-18
Bronze medal playoff
Viktor Axelsen (Den) beat Lin Dan (Chn) 15-21, 21-10, 21-17