Chinese title holder joins boyhood hero with repeat
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — China's Lin Dan retained his world badminton title Sunday with a masterful 21-11, 22-20 win over ninth-seeded Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro.
Lin joined boyhood hero Yang Yang in the sport's record books. Yang won back-to-back world titles in the late 1980s and until Sunday no other man had defended his crown successfully.
"I liked him a lot," Lin told a news conference.
"He's been my idol since I was a boy and I worked hard to follow in his footsteps."
The Chinese has been in excellent form all week and carried it through to the final as he raced ahead from 11-8 to clinch the first game easily at 21-11.
At 12-5 to Lin in the second the writing looked to be on the wall only for Sony.
But with plenty of backing in the 10,000 strong crowd, he battled back to take a 19-17 lead.
Like a champion, Lin moved into overdrive, produced two outstanding smashes and a super finesse at the net to stave off the crisis and triumph.
At the end, both men lay flat on their backs, outstretched and drawn with emotion.
It was a far cry from rainy Glasgow in June when Lin lost a Sudirman Cup match, albeit a dead rubber match, and drew sharp words from coach Li Yongbo, who questioned his commitment.
All that is in the past and Lin is looking ahead to next year's Olympics in Beijing and the chance to erase from memory the Athens Games where he lost in the first round.
He told reporters: "I want to start getting the foundations in, playing better in every tournament and getting the qualifying points."