Tianjin: A 34-year-old badminton player played through 15 matches in the last 19 days, Lin Dan, the greatest badminton player of all time, conjured perhaps his greatest trick of all here in Tianjin on Friday by beating 21-year-old and World No. 3 Shi Yuqi 21-12, 21-13 to claim his fourth China National Games title and extended his lead at the top of the all-time men’s winners’ list.
Taking into consideration about Lin Dan’s age and the fact that Lin had played two three-setters (in the quarter-finals and semi-finals) en route to the final, Shi obviously tried to speed up the game to wear Lin Dan down. However, Lin Dan’s supreme ability to adapt, and his sizzling smashes, diving returns continued to excite the crowds and fans. “Super Dan” eventually kept his composure to ease past Shi to clinch the China National Games men’s title.
After the match, Lin Dan admitted he didn’t expect to win the final so easily.
“What a relief! Everyone wants me to win the fourth consecutive titles, but frankly, I did not think too much, I was just trying to give my best in every match,” said Lin Dan.
“This could be my last participation at the China National Games, it’s been 20 years since I first played at the tournament, I’m happy to have a good finish at the tournament,” added Lin Dan.
When asked about playing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic, Lin Dan told reporters of course this is part of his plan, but, for now, he has something more important to take care of.
“I want to go home now and give my son a hug,” said the extremely happy Lin.
In women’s doubles, World No. 9 pair Luo Ying/Luo Yu defeated the reigning World champions Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan 25-23, 18-21, 21-14 to claim the women’s doubles title.