Badminton great Lee Chong Wei suffers quarter-final upset

Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia hits a return against Angus Ng Ka-Long of Hong Kong during their match at the China Open 2017 Badminton Championships in Fuzhou, in China’s eastern Fujian province on November 17, 2017

Former badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei followed great rival Lin Dan out of the China Open on Friday as he too was on the end of an upset.

The 35-year-old Malaysian Lee, whose world ranking has fallen to seven as he approaches the latter stages of his career, went down in the quarter-finals to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka-long in a 70-minute thriller.

The unseeded Ng defeated seventh-seeded Lee 21-12, 15-21, 21-19 to surge into Saturday’s semi-finals in Fuzhou.

It is the first time in six attempts that Ng has beaten Lee.

Ng, ninth in the world, will play world number one and top seed Viktor Axelsen after the formidable Dane beat Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen 21-17, 21-14.

Lee’s exit, coupled with the shock first-round defeat of Chinese star Lin earlier in the week, is more evidence that the careers of two of badminton’s all-time greats are reaching their end.

In the other semi-final, South Korea’s number two seed Son Wan-Ho will play China’s reigning Olympic champion Chen Long.

In the women’s draw, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand plays Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi and Carolina Marin of Spain faces the Chinese qualifier Gao Fangjie.

Gao, 19, reached the semi-finals by springing a major shock over India’s number two seed P.V. Sindhu, the China Open holder, 21-11, 21-10.

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