GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Aging champion Lee Chong Wei gave newly-promoted world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi a demonstration in how to peak for a championship on Sunday, claiming his third Commonwealth Games gold medal in the men's singles.
The 35-year-old Malaysian star, a three-time Olympic silver medalist, rallied after dropping the first game to beat Kidambi 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre only hours before the closing ceremony of the games.
"This is one of my most memorable achievements because this will be my last Commonwealth Games," Lee said. "I know how important this gold medal is for Malaysia. I won this for the whole Malaysian badminton team."
Kidambi beat Lee as he helped India win the mixed team title and had the better of the first game in the singles final until the Malaysian veteran found his touch.
"I lost to him in the mixed team event and I wanted to come back in the individual event. It's not easy mentally," Lee said. "In one week I played him two times in the final. The first time I lost ... I think mentally today I was very, very strong."
Lee, who is 10 years older than Kidambi, won the individual and mixed gold medals in the 2006 and 2010 editions in Melbourne and New Delhi and will retire from Commonwealth Games competition with five golds and a silver.
Kidambi said he'd be a better player for the experience of his first Commonwealth Games.
"When you're playing against such a good player you have to be at your best always throughout the match," he said. "I started well but I made too many mistakes in my defense.
"In the third I really should not have given him that lead. He just played much better."