Lee Chong Wei wins All England Open badminton tournament
World number one Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei defeated China's Shi Yuqi 21-12, 21-10 to win the All England Open Badminton tournament in Birmingham. It was the fourth All England title for the 34-year old shuttler, who also became the oldest singles champion in an Open era. His victory was unexpected as he had damaged his left knee before the tournament.
All England Open Championships or simply All England is the oldest and considered the most prestigious of all badminton tournaments. The annual event dates back to 1899 when it was first organized following the success of world's first badminton tournament held in 1898. It was seen as an unofficial badminton world championships until 1977, when the official championships were launched by International Badminton Federation.
All England defending champions are: Men's Singles - Lin Dan; Women's Singles - Nozomi Okuhara; Men's Doubles - Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov; Women's Doubles - Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi; Mixed Doubles - Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto.
The first Indian shuttler to lay hands on the All England Championships trophy was Prakash Padukone, in 1980. He was the runner-up, the following year. Before Padukone, the best Indian result was by Prakash Nath who was runner-up in 1947 edition of the tournament. Pullela Gopichand reclaimed the glory for India by winning All England in 2001. In 2015, Saina Nehwal reached the finals.
All England Open Championship is a Badminton World federation's (BWF) Superseries Premier event, which means it offers higher ranking point and higher minimum total prize for the contestants. It includes a prize money of $600,000 for the 2017 edition. The 2017 All England Championships are the tournament's 107th edition and will take place from 7-12 March at Barclaycard Arena, Brimingham.
All England Open is all set to kick off and Indian campaign will be lead by ace shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. Saina will hope to better her 2015 performance when she finished as runner-up. All eyes though will be on Sindhu who is in the form of her life, having won the Olympic silver and a maiden Super Series title in 2016.
Apart from Saina and Sindhu, Indian players contesting the All England include: K Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram - Men's Singles; Pranaav Jerry Chopra/N Sikki Reddy - Mixed Doubles; Manu Attri/B Sumeeth Reddy - Men's Doubles; Jakkampudi Meghana/Poorvisha S Ram - Women's Doubles.
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal eased into the quarter-finals of All England Open Championships. Sindhu beat Indonesia's Dinar Dyah Ayustine 21-12, 21-4, under half an hour in the pre-quarters. Saina too won her match in a straight-game victory over the defending champion Nozomi Okuhara 21-15, 21-14. Drawn in the top half, the two Indian badminton stars could possibly face each other in the Semis.
Saina Nehwal, the last remaining Indian contender at the All England Open, lost the quarter finals to Korea's Sung Ji Hyun, in straight games 20-22, 20-22. Earlier, World No 6 PV Sindhu crashed out of the event falling to World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying 14-21, 10-21. Both the defeats brought an end to the Indian challenge at the tournament.