Malaysia’s singles coach has suggested a conspiracy after badminton chiefs handed four-time Chinese winner Lin Dan a wildcard for this year’s world championships, a report said on Friday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s singles coach has suggested a conspiracy after badminton chiefs handed four-time Chinese winner Lin Dan a wildcard for this year’s world championships, a report said on Friday.
Tey Seu Bock told the New Straits Times that the wildcard entry for the double Olympic champion — which could affect the chances of Malaysia’s world number one Lee Chong Wei — gave China an unfair advantage.
"I don’t understand the reason behind BWF’s decision to give Lin Dan a wildcard despite China having three players in the men’s singles. I cannot help thinking that people want China to win the title," he said.
"Chong Wei will now have to face four China players, which is a huge mental challenge but it is not impossible for him to win."
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) gave Lin special permission to play the world championships after his ranking dropped to 41 following an eight-month break since last year’s Olympics in London.
"What we have been hearing is that Lin Dan has been seriously contemplating retirement and it is a real surprise that China have accepted the wildcard," the coach said.
"It will be tricky as Lin Dan will be unseeded and there is a possibility he could meet Chong Wei as early as the first round and this is going to be a massive challenge."
Malaysia’s Lee, a three-time world player of the year, has been irresistible in many tournaments but he is still searching for his first world or Olympic title after a heartbreaking series of losses to Lin.
"Super Dan" has beaten Lee in the last two Olympic finals and in the title match at the last world championships in 2011, when the Chinese ace lifted the trophy for a fourth time. The next edition is in China’s Guangzhou in August.