Lee bows out of Commonwealth Games with hat-trick of singles titles
Malaysia's badminton king Lee Chong Wei was pushed all the way by world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi, but prevailed 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 to bring the curtain down on his Commonwealth Games career with a third men's singles gold medal yesterday.
The 35-year-old won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2010, but was robbed of the chance of a hat-trick when a hamstring injury forced him to pull out of the 2014 Games in Glasgow.
Yesterday's victory was by no means guaranteed, given his first career loss to Srikanth in the mixed team final last week but Lee drew on all his experience, and the skills that kept him as world No. 1 for nearly four years from 2008.
"I lost to him in the mixed team event and I wanted to come back in the individual event. It's not easy mentally," said Lee, currently world No. 7.
"In one week, I played him two times in the final. The first time I lost and the second time is the final in the individual... I just came out and I forgot the team event and just focused."
Lee, who called this one of his most memorable achievements, said he never even thought about the 10-year age gap between him and his rival.
"It's only a number, right," he shrugged. "I just forget my age."
There was also Malaysian success in the women's doubles with Chow Mei Kuan and Vivian Hoo taking gold by beating England's Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker 21-12, 21-12.
In the women's singles final, which was an all-Indian affair, Saina Nehwal won her second singles title at the Games by defeating P.V. Sindhu 21-18, 23-21.
The English won the golds in the two other events - the men's doubles and mixed doubles.