EVERYONE wants to watch a men’s singles match between world number one Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan in the World Championships.
And a confident China chief coach Li Yongbo says that the two-time world champion Lin Dan will win the title if both are playing to their best of abilities.
“Currently, Lin Dan and Chong Wei are the best two men’s singles players in the world. But my pick is on Lin Dan,” said Yongbo at a rare press conference appearance yesterday.
“In every way of the game, I think Lin Dan is superior to Chong Wei. But if Lin Dan is not playing to his true form and Chong Wei does extremely well, then the match will favour the Malaysian,” he said.
There is a possibility that Chong Wei and Lin Dan will clash in the semi-finals of the world meet barring any upsets in the early round.
Chong Wei’s early stumbling blocks are Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh and Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia while Lin Dan should get past his compatriot Bao Chunlai of China and Denmark’s evergreen shuttler Peter-Gade Christensen to set up a clash with Chong Wei.
The rivalry between Chong Wei and Lin Dan has been going on for a while. Chong Wei pulled off an amazing win over Lin Dan in the semi-final tie of the Thomas Cup Finals but Lin Dan showed he was one step ahead by tearing the Malaysian apart in the final of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the All-England.
Yongbo took a jibe at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on the draw, which has put Lin Dan and Bao in the same quarter: “I do not want to say a lot on the draw. This has happened so frequently that one has to just accept it.”
On the overall expectation of China in the world meet, Yongbo said: “Because of excellent past records in the world, the expectations are always high on the team. More than winning, it is my hope that all my players will live up to the expectations of them.” Yongbo, who was quite jovial throughout the 30-minute press conference, was very generous in praising India yesterday.
Firstly, he commented on Saina Nehwal’s achievement in beating the Chinese players en route to winning the Indonesian Open and then, he praised the the hard work put up by the organisers to provide the best security for the players.
“I have seen Saina improving since winning the world junior title. I hope she will do well here as it will certainly generate a lot of attention for badminton in this country,” he said.