Friday, December 26, 2008


As every athlete looks forward to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Lin Dan, who was certainly qualified to play, did not begin the year on a strong note as he failed to win the Malaysian Open and Korean Open (he was a finalist in the latter). He lost his All England title to Chen Jin, but then went on to win the Swiss Open.
In the 2008 the Thomas Cup which was held in Jakarta, Lin Dan won every match he played except in the semi-finals where he lost to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei. Even with his loss, China advanced to the finals. In the finals, Lin Dan earned a point for China as he returned from a first-set loss and overcame Park Sung-hwan of South Korea 10-21, 21-18, 21-8. China beat South Korea 3–1 and brought the cup back for the third consecutive time.
Lin Dan did not play in Singapore Open or the Indonesia Open, two tournaments that were ranked Super Series tournaments. This was due to his intensive training for the Olympic Games. He did however, play in the Thailand Open Grand Prix as a precursor to the Olympic Games. There, he defeated local favorite Boonsak Ponsana to take the title.
In the Olympic Games, Lin Dan, who was undoubtedly the local hero and heavy favourite began his gold medal hunt by subduing Hong Kong's Ng Wei 21-16, 21-13 in the round of 32. Next he saw off Park Sung-hwan 21-11, 21-8, and in the quarter finals, Lin Dan ended veteran Peter Gade's dream of ever winning an Olympic medal as he beat Gade in straight sets. He then faced Chinese youngster Chen Jin in the semi-finals and beat him in handily in two sets. This vaulted him into the finals where he was set to meet Lee Chong Wei. The dream match had finally come true as the world number one Lin Dan and world number two were set to battle it out for badminton's most prestigious title. It was supposed to be a tough match for both players, but Lin Dan grabbed the gold as he overwhelmed the Malaysian in a one-sided two-setter 21-12, 21-8. Lin Dan thus became the first men's singles player ever to win the All England title, two world championship titles, and the Olympic gold medal.
After a hiatus of almost four months, Lin Dan came back in November from a post-Olympic break and played in the China Open Super Series. He again met Lee Chong Wei in the finals and won by the scores of 21-18, 21-9 with the second set almost identical to their match in the Beijing Games. In late November he faced Chen Jin in the finals of the Hong Kong Super Series but lost 9-21, 21-9, 17-21.
Even though Lin Dan only competed in 5 Super Series events this year, he has enough points to qualify for the BWF Super Series Masters Finals being held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

No comments:

Post a Comment