Lee beats Boonsak to win Japan Open title
TOKYO - Agence France-PresseTwo-time champion Lee Chong Wei fended off a spirited challenge from Boonsak Ponsana to win the men’s singles title at the Chinese-boycotted Japan Open badminton tournament yesterday.
The Malaysian top seed, the winner in Japan in 2007 and 2010, powered his way through to a 21-18, 21-18 victory over the Thai.
In the women’s singles final, Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan dashed any hopes of a title for Japan by beating Eriko Hirose 9-21, 21-9, 21-14.
South Korea’s Kim Ki-Jung and Kim Sa-Rang defeated Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong 21-16, 21-19 to win the men’s doubles, while Poon Lok-yan and Tse Ying-suet brought the first Japan title to Hong Kong.
They also dashed local hopes by beating Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito 21-17, 22-20.
Earlier in the day, Chan Peng Soon teamed up with Goh Liu Ying to beat Indonesia’s Muhammad Rijal and Liliyana Natsir 21-12, 21-19 in the mixed doubles final.
“It was really a good match, but it was tough,” said Lee, 29.
“This is my first tournament after the London Olympics. I’m very happy to start with this victory. I can put my disappointment behind me,” said Lee, who lost to China’s Lin Dan in the Olympic finals both in London and Beijing.
Lin, along with the rest of the Chinese team, missed the Tokyo tournament due to a boycott over a diplomatic wrangle about disputed islands in the East China Sea.