Chinese Olympic gold-medallist Lin Dan on Friday quit the Badminton Asia Championship citing an injury, effectively ending hopes that he would lead China's drive for a clean-sweep of titles.
TAIPEI: Chinese Olympic gold-medallist Lin Dan on Friday quit the Badminton Asia Championship citing an injury, effectively ending hopes that he would lead China's drive for a clean-sweep of titles.
"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 and could not lift his left arm, said a spokesman for the tournament.
"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.
The 29-year-old has won every major title but he has been off the scene since the Olympic final last August, stepping back into the limelight for his marriage to fellow badminton athlete Xie Xingfang and an exhibition match in December.
China's top seed Chen Long saw off Thai Boonsak Ponsana 21-14, 20-22, 21-12 in the men's singles quarter-finals on Friday. Another top Chinese player, Du Pengyu, beat Hong Kong's Chan Yan Kit while Malaysia's Wei Feng Chong beat Chinese Gao Huan.
For women's singles, China's Olympic champion Li Xuerui scored an easy victory over Malaysian Sonia Cheah 21-13, 21-7. Fellow Chinese Wang Yihan beat Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying while Japan's Sayaka Takahashi and Eriko Hirose beat Thai Ratchanok Inthanon and India's Sindhu P. V., respectively.
With some of their top Asian rivals skipping the event, China have a strong chance of replicating their achievement at the Olympics by winning all five titles on offer.