China’s legendary Lin Dan saw off Vietnam’s Tuan Duc Do in just 24 minutes in Taipei yesterday as he flew to his first victory since successfully defending his Olympic title in London last year.
“Super Dan,” an icon in China and rated by many as badminton’s greatest player, made light of his eight-month break as he breezed through 21-12, 21-6 to reach the second round of the Badminton Asia Championships.
The 29-year-old has won every major title going, but he has been off the scene since the Olympic final in August last year, apart from his marriage to fellow badminton athlete Xie Xingfang and an exhibition match in December last year.
Do, the world No. 422, put up a fight early on, but the match was over as a contest when Lin reeled off 10 points in a row at the start of game 2, followed by another six-point burst.
Lin, whose ranking has dropped to 40 during his long absence, will face a greater test today, when he comes up against third seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong, a semi-finalist at last month’s Swiss Open.
Chinese top seed Chen Long beat Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long, while women’s Olympic champion Li Xuerui went through against fellow Chinese Yu Sun, a qualifier.
With some of their top Asian rivals skipping the event, China have a strong chance of replicating their achievement at the Olympics by winning all five titles on offer.