Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei celebrates his victory over China's Shi Yuqi in their All England Open Badminton Championships men's singles final match in Birmingham, central England. AFP
Malaysian fans cheers on Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in his men's final match against China's Shi Yuqi. AFP
China's Shi Yuqi appears to twist his ankle during his men's singles final defeat to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei at the All England Open Badminton Championships. AFP
Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei poses for a photograph with the trophy after his victory over China's Shi Yuqi. AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei made it loud and clear that he will return to Birmingham next year to defend his All England title after winning it for the fourth time on Sunday.

The 35-year-old, who had earlier signalled that this could be his swansong year, showed pure class at the Barclaycard Arena as he brushed aside China's youngster Shi Yuqi 21-12, 21-10 in the men's singles final.

"I would like to thank all my fans here. The All England is my favourite tournament," said Chong Wei.

"I feel like playing at home, I will definitely come back to defend my title here. Yes, I will come back."

Chong Wei, who nearly did not make the trip following a knee injury last month, showed no signs of trouble and instead looked more determined than ever to prove a point this year.

The victory also comes as a timely boost for the Malaysian, who had won the title previously in 2010, 2011 and 2014 as he gears up for the World Championships in Glasgow in August.

For his All England feat, Chong Wei pocketed US$45,000 (approximately RM200,500) in prize money while Yuqi settled for US$22,800 (approximately RM102,000).

Chong Wei will return to Kuala Lumpur first before traveling to New Delhi for the India Open on March 28-April 2.

Chong Wei is also listed to play in the Malaysia Open in April before the Sudirman Cup (May) and Indonesia Open (June).

5,934 reads