ALL ENGLAND 2010 Final – Chong Wei Strikes at Last

Lee Chong Wei (pictured) finally won one of the three major badminton achievements on the planet, showing his number one spot on the world ranking is indeed well-deserved. He entered […]


Lee Chong Wei (pictured) finally won one of the three major badminton achievements on the planet, showing his number one spot on the world ranking is indeed well-deserved. He entered history in Birmingham today by beating Japan’s Samurai Kenichi Tago to win the coveted title.

Raphael Sachetat, live from Birmingham. Photos : Badmintonphoto (live)

What a day for Malaysia! 7 years after an unexpected win from Hafiz Hashim in this very same NIA Hall in Birmingham, Lee Chong Wei, at last, stood on the first spot of the podium. The young Japanese wonder Kenichi Tago had made it easier on Lee, beating Bao Chunlai and Chen Jin along his way to the final.

But he certainly didn’t make it easy on the court for the Malaysian, who was the clear favourite, and hence, showed some clear signs of nervousness at the beggining of the match. “I was nervous at the start of the match, being the favourite. I knew I was expected to win and he played very well from scratch as he had nothing to lose,” said Chong Wei.

Indeed, Tago – whose mother had played this All England tournament years back – was impressive at the beginning of the match, leading 13-6 in spite of the roaring crowd cheering for Chong Wei and waving huge Malaysian flags.

But step by step, very calm as usual, Chong Wei got back into the game, and levelled up at 15-15. He then geared up but the Japanese stayed in the game, with impressive net play – most of the net points were going in favour of Tago, except for the last drop shot at 20-19 for Lee, which hit the band and barely landed on Tago’s side leaving the latter diving to try to reach it.

The second game was to be just as close, and Tago once again managed to trouble the world’s best, even if, this time, Chong Wei led from start to finish. His clears were dangerous, his attacks more steady, and his speed was just above his opponents, giving him the lead in key areas of the game. Once again, it was to go Chong Wei’s way. With the same score, showing the exit to Tago, who felt frustrated on the second spot of the podium.

AE2010semi-tago1When he was showing his joy on the podium, I felt very frustrated, to have come all this way and finish second. On the other hand, its a good motivation to do well next time. I am happy that I performed well this week and I must admit that the accuracy of the shuttlecocks this time helped me as I could have total control over them,” said Tago, who remained quite humble about his successive wins.

For Lee Chong Wei, who got a call from the Prime Minister of Malaysia on his way to the press center, it was a relief and a great joy. “It feels great to finally win here. I just got off the phone with the Prime Minister – who stayed up and watched the match even though its past 2 am back in Malaysia,” said Chong Wei with a smile.

I know it will be big in Malaysia. For me, it feels just great. I have achieved now to win one of my major targets – and being the 100th anniversary makes it even more special. I think Ive made a mark by winning this, even if I do feel lucky Lin Dan didnt make it to the final,” he laughed. He will skip the Swiss Open to head home straight after this win, which leaves him unbeaten since the start of 2010.  “Next will be the Thomas Cup for me,” he hinted.

The relaxed Malaysian then went on to take his winning shirt – still wet from the effort and gave it away for a special auction to come : the auction benefit will go to SOLIBAD’s Malaysian Project in Kuala Lumpur – the Orphanage Sanctuary Care Center.

More information to come on the auction on

All results HERE

Our partner HOTEL in the All England – City Nites – in the Heart of Birmingham

City Nites Birmingham – a fabulous and cost effective alternative to a hotel room. • There is no closer accommodation venue to the NIA, so if you are attending any show or event, you now know where to stay!

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.