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Lim Say Heng
Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014

Sports

Badminton: So easy for Santoso

The New Paper | Lim Say Heng | Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014

Simon Santoso of Indonesia reacts after defeating world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia during the OUE Singapore Open badminton tournament men's final on April 13, 2014.

Simon Santoso is used to facing tough odds in his badminton career.

The 28-year-old Indonesian suffered a back injury in 2013. He worked hard to get back to full fitness but, soon after resuming play, decided to quit the national team to turn professional early this year, after hitting a plateau.

Yesterday, the former world No. 3 beat the odds again when he stormed past world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei 21-15, 21-10 to claim the OUE Singapore Open men's singles title at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

While the majority of the 9,500 crowd was roaring the Malaysian on, Santoso played the match of his career to notch only his second win in 11 outings against the overwhelming favourite.

Lee was slow off the blocks and clearly not in top gear, and he acknowledged it later in the post-match media conference.

The 31-year-old double Olympic silver medallist said: "There are a lot of competitions this year, I have to take care of myself and not get injured in competitions.

"I think Simon played very well today, I haven't seen him play so well before."

Asked if that meant he didn't push himself in the final, Lee replied: "Yes, I just try to enjoy (the match) and I had nothing to lose because this is just the Singapore Open.

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