Zhang Jun: Lin Dan is irreplaceable

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Lin Dan is the greatest badminton player of all-time. (photo: AFP)
Lin Dan is the greatest badminton player of all-time. (photo: AFP)

Beijing: Chairman of the China Badminton Association and former Olympic champion Zhang Jun told Chinese media that it’s near-impossible to find a player as special as Lin Dan, but he will continue trying to nurture younger talents into world-class players through China’s badminton system.

“In addition to outstanding performance, for a badminton star to have a remarkable impact on the sport, it requires team work, including the promotional team, endorsement from sponsors, and the popularity of badminton,” said Zhang.

“We of course would like to see another badminton star to arrive very soon,” added Zhang.

The five-times world champion Lin Dan, now 35, is seeded eight at the 2019 Australian Open that will kick off in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday. Lin will face H.S. Prannoy of India on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the top seeded Chou Tien Chen will play Australian player Daniel Fan in the first round.

In the Australian Open women’s single’s competition, Japan’s world number two, Nozomi Okuhara was seeded top and has been drawn to open against home player Wendy Chen.

Malaysia’s World No. 13 mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai had to pull out of the tournament citing injury sustained by Goh during training.

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