Badminton: Clash of the titans with Chen and Lin in finals

Badminton: Clash of the titans with Chen and Lin in finals
GOOD FOR THE SPORT: Lin (above) says Lee's participation in the sport is needed and that fans enjoy their on-court rivalry.

KUALA LUMPUR - World number one Chen Long and his illustrious compatriot Lin Dan will clash in the finals of the Malaysian Open on Sunday after both Chinese shuttlers overcame their opponents at the semi-final stage on Saturday.

Chen, the reigning world champion, qualified after a commanding performance ousting fellow countryman Wang Zhengming 21-18, 21-16.

Chen, who has yet to drop a game in the tournament, worked Wang into deep pockets of the courts with his signature penetrating drives and snapshot kills.

"This was the first time I was playing my teammate in the tournament, and I was more relaxed as compared to playing other shuttlers, where I tend to push myself harder," said Chen.

"I have another tough game in the final, but for now I don't want to think about that and just get some rest." Lin Dan was off the pace initially but managed to dispatch Denmark's Jan Jorgensen 14-21, 21-19, 21-17 after overcoming two service faults and a lethargic first game.

Lin, a five-time world champion and twice Olympic gold medallist, has yet to win the Malaysia Open, one of the only titles missing from his glittering trophy cabinet.

After losing the first game, Lin rallied to take the second game by stamping his mark in the decider with furious mid-court attacks which forced the Dane to commit a flurry of unforced errors.

Despite the win, the Chinese shuttler was not pleased with the umpire.

"I felt the first game was not between us, rather it was between me and the umpire who kept interrupting our rhythm and did not let us play," said Lin.

"The second game was also hard as Jan had the crowd behind him and I am happy to pull through." Lin also did not dismiss the possibility of featuring in the Olympics next year.

"If Lee Chong Wei goes, then I am going as well. We would probably be the oldest men's singles playing in the Olympics," he said, referring to his nemesis and Malaysia's badminton ace Lee Chong Wei, who is awaiting a hearing regarding doping charges.

Lee was suspended from competition after being informed by the sport's governing body in October that he had failed a drugs test at last year's world championships. He faces a maximum two-year ban if found guilty. A hearing is expected this month.

The women's singles, meanwhile, saw reigning world champion Carolina Marin defeat China's Wang Shixian 21-17, 24-22.

The Spaniard will face Chinese shuttler Li Xuerui in the final after she edged world number one Saina Nehwal in a closely-fought 13-21, 21-17, 22-20 victory.

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