Wei too easy for top seed Lee in opening game
RIO DE JANEIRO: Lee Chong Wei began his quest for the elusive Olympic gold with an easy 18-minute victory in Rio de Janeiro.
The 33-year-old world No. 1 outplayed Soren Opti of Suriname 21-2, 21-3 in Group A at the Riocentro Pavilion 4 on Thursday.
Chong Wei, a two-time silver medallist, never had to get out of first gear, winning both games in nine minutes each.
The 19-year-old Opti, ranked world No. 318, was overawed by the occasion and made life easy for Chong Wei by sending the shuttlecock out most of the times.
And Chong Wei even had the time to take a shot in between his legs in one of the rallies in the first game.
And when the 1.81m tall Opti won his first point in both games, he received a warm round of applause from the fans.
For Chong Wei, it was a good workout despite not being pushed by Opti.
“Today was more like having a feel of the court. The shuttlecock was slow a bit. But I’m getting a hang of it,” said Chong Wei.
Chong Wei will have a one-day rest before taking on Derek Wong of Singapore in the three-man group on Sunday.
Derek will give a better fight compared to Opti and Chong Wei is looking forward to the clash.
“I’ll try to up the pace in the next game,” said Chong Wei.
Chong Wei is expected to top the group to receive a bye straight into the quarter-finals as the top two seeds. He is expected to meet the sixth-seeded Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan in the last eight and two-time defending champion Lin Dan in the semi-finals.
Two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan also got off to a blistering fashion when he tamed David Obernosterer of Canada 21-5, 21-11 in a Group E opener. The others in his group are Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh and Russian Vladimir Malkov.