TheStar KUALA LUMPUR: National number one Lee Chong Wei fell on his back; punched his fists repeatedly in the air; and blew kisses to the badminton fans at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton (KLBA) Stadium yesterday. The pumped up Chong Wei had given an outstanding display to successfully defend the Proton Malaysian Open men's singles title. He took 88 minutes to beat world number one Lin Dan of China 17-15, 9- 15, 15-9 in a power-packed final. And he certainly felt on top of the world. “I am very, very happy,” said Chong Wei, who bagged US$9,600 (RM36,480) for the win. “Winning the Malaysian Open title for the second time is certainly different. I never thought that I would clear even the quarter-finals. “But here I am today ... I defeated Taufik (Hidayat) and Lin Dan for the first time in the same tournament.” On Thursday, Chong Wei put up a brilliant show to beat Athens Olympics gold medallist and Singapore Open champion Taufik 15-5, 15-0 in the third round. With the win yesterday, Chong Wei has avenged his defeats by Lin Dan and Taufik. He was beaten by the Chinese in the Thomas Cup qualifying tournament and went down to Taufik in the second round of the Asian Badminton Championships last year at the same venue. It was Chong Wei’s delicate play, tight net shots and several great fightbacks that won the hearts of the crowd. He clawed back from 0-7 down in both the first and rubber games to win them. The world number eight is nowlooking forward to the World Championships, which will be played in Anaheim, California, next month with optimism. “I never gave up when the chips were down against Lin Dan,” said Chong Wei. “Everyone saw how he played. He is excellent in attack and his overhead smashes and forehand cross court shots are dangerous. So it is very satisfying to beat him. “This has given me a lot of confidence. I have one month to prepare for the world championships. I will be more than happy to bring back a medal for Malaysia.” Lin Dan, who was playing in his first Malaysian Open final, was certainly disappointed and dashed out of the stadium after receiving the US$4,800 cheque. Malaysia's singles coach Li Mao of China was happy with Chong Wei's performances in the tournament. “It was a very high quality game but Chong Wei held a slight advantage because he read Lin Dan's game well and it was his home turf and the crowd was behind him all the way,” said Li Mao. “In his win over Taufik, he displayed good skill and yesterday against Lin Dan, I was happy with his speed. Overall, it is Chong Wei’s spirited game that helped him win the title today.” On Chong Wei's preparation for the world championships, Li Mao said: “He is now a world-class player. Yes, he will be one of the contenders together with Taufik and Lin Dan at the world championships.” There were also disappointments for China in the men's doubles and mixed doubles events. Indonesia's Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto certainly proved that they are on the right track to win the world title for the second time. The 1997 world champions defeated Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng 15-11, 17- 14. In the mixed doubles, Koreans Lee Jae-jin-Lee Hyo-jung downed Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Tingting 15-12, 15-12. The all-China finals in the women's singles and women's doubles were won by their Olympic champions – Zhang Ning and the pair of Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen. ON TOP OF THE WORLD: Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei reacts after scoring the winning point in the men’s singles final match against China’s Lin Dan in the Malaysian Open badminton championships at the KLBA Stadium yesterday.