Tue, Aug 21, 2007 - Page 19 News List

China's Lin Dan to turn steely focus on Olympics


Lin Dan (林丹), fresh from winning the world badminton championships, will turn his steely focus to next year's Beijing Olympics, where hosts China plan to dominate the courts.

The Chinese world No. 1 defended his championship title with a resounding victory over Indonesia's Sony Dwi Kuncoro at a packed stadium in the Malaysian capital on Sunday.

China, a badminton powerhouse, had been gunning for a clean sweep of all five titles here as they prepare to rule at the 2008 Olympics, but came up two crowns short after Indonesia triumphed in the doubles.

Lin, who also won this year's prestigious All-England championship, said he would now concentrate on preparing for the Olympic Games, although he played down his chances of Olympic gold on home soil.

"I'm not thinking about winning the Olympics. I just want to improve myself, world hard and play well in every tournament to collect points so that I can qualify for the Olympics," the 23-year-old said.

Newly crowned women's world champion Zhu Lin (朱琳) said her victory had given her an enormous boost ahead of the Games.

"This win has given me great confidence to fight to qualify for the Olympics and there are more Super Series tournaments coming up, so I'll work hard to earn more points to qualify for the Olympics," she said.

The world No. 5, often overshadowed by formidable teammates Zhang Ning (張宁) and Xie Xingfang (謝杏芳), downed Hong Kong's Wang Chen (王晨) to seize her first world title.

Despite the wins and success in the women's doubles, China showed a few signs of weakness, with Xie and men's doubles champions Fu Haifeng (付海峰) and Cai Yun (蔡贇) suffering shock defeats.

The Red Army eventually missed out on the men's doubles and mixed doubles titles, thanks to powerful performances from Indonesia.

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