Congratulations is due to Datuk Lee Chong Wei for successfully defending the recently concluded All-England badminton championships by beating his nemesis Lin Dan of China.
Although Chong Wei is the top badminton player of the world, his record against the Chinese badminton ace is rather poor having lost more times to the Chinese than winning.
So, going into the finals of the All-England badminton championship, few had given the Malaysian a chance. especially seeing that he had just lost to the Chinese ace in the Korean Open prior to the All-England.
But in the All-England finals, Chong Wei played a brilliant tactical game to outwit his nemesis beating the Chinese in straight sets 21-17, 21-17.
There was really little to choose from between the two in terms of skills, but what clinched the game for Chong Wei at the All-England was his mental strength and determination to win and a belief in himself , something often lacking in Chong Wei in the past when he faced Lin Dan.
I am also glad to note that Chong Wei did not try to engage Lin Dan at the net, preferring to bid his time in rallies and going for the kill at the right times and mixing up his game with clever drop-shots and pin-point placements of the shuttle.
Chong Wei's superb skills in retrieving the shuttle even when at times it looked impossible probably wore out the Chinese ace who began at times to look frustrated and at a loss as to what to do.
The question now is whether Chong Wei can sustain his good form and go on to defeat his nemesis in the future and show Malaysians that he indeed is the better of the two.
There are two important championships coming up, the world championships in August this year and the Olympics next year in London both of which no Malaysian has ever won.
If Chong Wei can maintain his form and win both the world championships and the London Olympics he will go down in history as one of the most successful badminton players not only in Malaysia but also the world and this would be a fitting tribute before his intended retirement after the London Olympics.