Rio Olympics 2016: Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei beats Lin Dan to make badminton final

Lee Chong Wei
Lee Chong Wei won on his fourth match point in a thrilling final game

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei beat great rival Lin Dan of China in their much-anticipated semi-final to reach the Olympic badminton men's singles final.

The pair, regarded by many as the greatest players of all time, have played out the last two Olympic finals, with Lin winning on both occasions.

But, amid huge interest in their home countries, Lee won 15-21 21-11 22-20 in a classic 79-minute encounter.

He could now become Malaysia's first Olympic gold medallist.

"This is my last Olympics and I have never won the gold medal so now it's just one more step," the Malaysian, 33, said.

"I think it's good for my retirement."

Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei
Lin beat Lee in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals and 2011 and 2013 World Championship finals

The pair have dominated men's badminton in recent years, with Lin leading the head-to-head record 25-11 before the match, including wins in two Olympic and two World Championship finals.

The match in Rio is likely to be their last in the Olympics, with Lin, 32, a year younger than his rival.

Lin said: "I feel relieved because today's match has ended.

"I think today's biggest result is that our audience - no matter if they are here live or watching on TV - can enjoy a really good match that has the best quality ever. I think that is one of the best points."

Lee will play Chen Long of China in Saturday's final at 13:20 BST.

Lee Chong Wei
The match was played in a passionate atmosphere in Rio

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