Lin Dan cut short his first badminton tournament since he won his second Olympic gold medal when he conceded a walkover in the Badminton Asia Championships men’s singles quarter-finals in Taipei yesterday.
“Super Dan,” an icon in China and rated by many as badminton’s greatest player, had to withdraw after waking up with a pain in his left shoulder which left him unable to lift his left arm, a tournament spokesman said
Lin, the unseeded former two-time Asia champ, won three matches to reach the quarters, but withdrew and allowed sixth-seeded Chinese compatriot Wang Zhengming to advance.
“Lin hasn’t played for a long time, he played two games yesterday which both lasted three rounds and pulled his muscle. Our doctors decided that he should withdraw over the injury,” the spokesman said.
After his second successive Olympic title in London in August last year, Lin got married, released his autobiography, appeared at Peter Gade’s retirement tournament in Denmark, and said he was considering playing to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. His ranking has fallen from No. 1 to 39.
Meanwhile, top seed Chen Long of China saw off Thai Boonsak Ponsana 21-14, 20-22, 21-12 in the their quarter-final. Another top Chinese player, Du Pengyu, beat Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit while Malaysia’s Wei Feng Chong beat China’s Gao Huan.
In the women’s singles, No. 5 seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan gave second seed Wang Yihan of China a fright by winning a close first set in their quarter-final clash. However, Wang bounced back to take an equally tight second set before dominating the decider to claim a 19-21, 21-18, 21-10 victory.
China’s Olympic champion Li Xuerui scored an easy victory over Malaysian Sonia Cheah 21-13, 21-7, while Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi and Eriko Hirose beat Thai Ratchanok Inthanon and India’s P.V. Sindhu, respectively.
Additional reporting by staff writer