Badminton-Chong Wei marches into All England final

BIRMINGHAM, England, March 10 Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:24am EST

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BIRMINGHAM, England, March 10 (Reuters) - World number one Lee Chong Wei battled past South Korea's Lee Hyun-il 21-19 21-18 on Saturday to claim a place in the final of the All England championships.

Chong Wei, seeking a hat-trick of title wins in the tournament, made errors on the way but eventually outlasted his eighth-seeded opponent to the joy of a large Malaysian contingent in the big crowd.

He told reporters: "My hand was a little bit painful. I woke up with it this morning but it will be fine for tomorrow."

Chong Wei's likely adversary is world and Olympic champion Lin Dan, who is seeking a fifth All England title, dating back to 2004.

Lin was in action later in the day against seventh-seeded Kenichi Tago of Japan.

The women's singles produced another mighty feat from world champion Wang Yihan who came from behind to beat Chinese compatriot Wang Shixian 20-22 21-18 21-18 in an 85-minute marathon.

In Friday's quarter-finals Wang Yihan had saved four match points before edging out Denmark's Tine Baun in another tough three-setter. (Editing by John Mehaffey; Reuters messenger:; Please double click on the newslink for more badminton)