(BEIJING, August 14) -- Where else can we start the review of day six of the Olympic Badminton tournament than with the both adored and controversial World No. 1 Lin Dan?
Possessing a startling style of play and infamously hot temper, Lin is known by his fans as "Super Dan" and pointed at by critics as "badminton's bad boy."
Determined to move past his unexpected first-round exit in Athens, Lin, a heavy favorite, is geared up for the coveted Men's Singles gold medal. Lin cruised past Gade 21-13, 21-16 on August 14 to enter the semifinal, continuing his undefeated run for gold in the tournament.
The anticipated heart-pounding clash turned out to be a disastrous outing for Gade, who was no match for Lin's super high tempo and unassailable smashes.
"Lin plays with a tremendous amount of variation," said a frustrated Gade. "You cannot move before he hits the shuttle. "I have to be aware and play at a high speed which is difficult to do without making mistakes."
Will Lin realize his golden dream? World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia is likely the one with the answer.
As Malaysia's best shot for the country's first Olympic gold medal in history, Lee also advanced to the semifinals by winning in style over World No. 5 Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-9, 21-11.
Being in different halves of the draw, Lin and Lee would not meet for a head-to-head clash until the finals.
In other Men's Singles matches, China's fourth seed Chen Jin played a very steady match to dispose of Hsieh Yu-hsing of Chinese Taipei 21-8, 21-14, while third-seeded Bao Chunlai, also of China, was upset by World No. 10 Lee Hyun-il of the Republic of Korea 23-21, 21-11.
Mixed Doubles is what brought double joy to Indonesia, as the country's World No. 1 Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto advanced into the semifinal by knocking out Thailand's Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam 21-13, 21-19, and third seeds Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa survived a thrilling three-game match and held off the determined Danish pair of Kamilla Juhl and Thomas Laybourn 21-17, 15-21, 21-17.
Unlike the happy Indonesians, Athens silver medalists Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson of the Great Britain had to put aside their dream for gold after being outplayed by Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae of the ROK 21-19, 21-12.
Badminton powerhouse China had one pair in the semifinals: Fourth seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang made it through the quarterfinals after outplaying Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk of Poland 22-20, 23-21.