China’s Chen Long inflicted more Olympic heartache on Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei with a straight games win for gold in the men’s badminton singles final on Saturday. Chen took both games 21-18 to consign Lee to a third consecutive defeat in an Olympic Games final.
It was a first gold medal for world number two Chen, who won bronze at London 2012, but a third straight silver for the top-ranked Lee.
Despite being one of the sport’s most accomplished players, the Malaysian has never won a world or Olympic title. He lost the previous two Games finals to Chinese arch-rival Lin Dan.
At the age of 33 it is virtually certain that his career will end without that elusive Olympic gold medal while Malaysia’s hunt for a first gold in any sport continues. Chen took an early 11-8 lead in what turned out to be the deciding game before stretching his hold over Lee to 20-15.
There was no way back for the quiet Malaysian and Chen celebrated by running with his shirt off to the Chinese fans at the Riocentro venue.