World no. 1 to face Malaysian rival in China final

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World number one Chen Long of China eased past compatriot Tian Houwei at the semi-finals of the Asian Badminton Championship on Saturday, setting up a meet with Malaysian rival Lee Chong Wei in the final.

Chen beat Tian 21-14, 21-16 in a quarter-final match in the central city of Wuhan, forcing his way through to compete for the men’s singles crown on Sunday.

Lee, ranked second in the world, recorded his 11th career win over China’s Lin Dan when he edged past the two-time Olympic champion 22-20, 15-21, 21-4.

In the women’s competition world number three and reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui dispatched South Korean seventh seed Sung Ji Hyun 22-20, 21-11 in 40 minutes.

Indian star Saina Nehwal crashed out against Chinese opponent Yihan Wang. The 26-year-old went down 16-21, 14-21 in 41 minutes.

Sunday’s final pits Yihan against Xuerui. Both have won nine games against each other and will each be vying to earn their third Asian title.

The championship is worth $500,000 in prize money, according to the organiser’s website.

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