Birmingham: World number one Chen Long hopes to emulate his legendary compatriot Lin Dan after regaining an All England Open men’s singles title which some doubted he could capture a second time.
The 26-year-old from Hubei, China repelled a brave challenge from Jan Jorgensen, the world number two from Denmark, 15-21, 21-17, 21-15, and spoke after Sunday’s win of trying to reach the five titles which Lin, the Olympic champion, has won in Birmingham.
“Jorgensen is tough but Lin Dan is right up there,” said Chen, indicating the ceiling.
“Lin Dan is on the highest level,” he added, despite having beaten the 31-year-old Lin in two comfortable games in Saturday’s semi-finals.
“I want to catch Lin Dan’s record, but for the moment physical condition is the most important thing. I need to keep healthy and not get injured.”
These words suggest that it may be Chen rather than Lin – trying to return to more regular competition to bid for a third gold medal – who is at the moment regarded by the Chinese camp as a better bet for success in Rio next year.
The Hubei native beat Lin Dan in the semi-finals of the All England last week.