Heartbreak once again as Chong Wei fails at the last hurdle
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — In the end it was just too much for Lee Chong Wei as he lost again to China's Lin Dan in the final of the Olympics gold medal badminton match today at the Wembley arena in London, coming to just within two points of winning Malaysia's first ever gold medal before succumbing to probably the best ever player in the sport's history.
Lee was leading 19-18 in the deciding third set and it appeared he was finally destined to win, but Lin came back to cruelly consign Lee to a second straight silver medal as the China player won his second gold.
In the country's 56-year history in the Olympics, Malaysia has only won two bronze and two silver medals, all in badminton. Tonight Lee added another silver to that tally.
But it was the gold everyone at home wanted. And the country will have to wait again.
Lee took to Twitter after the match and offered his apologies with two words:"I'm sorry."
His apology and the sight of Lee crying as he accepted the silver while standing next to a triumphant Lin would have won the hearts of a public even though he had failed once again to win the country's first gold medal.
But it was not for want of trying. Lee matched Lin all the way in the match and despite defeat Malaysians will still be proud of him.
Lee started the match in scintillating form taking the first set 21-15, but he fell apart in the second, losing tamely by 21-10.
But in the third set it was neck and neck as both players took turns leading all the way to the end in a sensational display of badminton by two players at the peak of their abilities.
Lee's appearance in the final was made more significant by the fact that just eight weeks ago an ankle injury had threatened to end his hopes of even taking part in London 2012.
But in a testament to the prowess of his physiotherapist and his will to win, Lee made it all the way to centre court at the Wembley arena today.
Both players thrilled the Wembley crowd with a superb display of athleticism and badminton, matching each other stroke-for-stroke and smash-for-smash.
Ultimately it boiled down to who wanted to win more.
And it was Lin who was the more focused, the player who wanted it more, the one who could summon up enough strength to edge ahead at the last.