Rio de Janeiro: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and 2-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China will meet for a 37th time, this time with a spot in the 2016 Olympic final on the line.
Two of the badminton’s greatest players of all time will battle on Friday (Brazil time), with Lin Dan holding a 25-11 advantage on their head-to-head record. However, Lee had produced remarkable display of confident when he emerged victorious in their last two encounters, both at Lin Dan’s home turf.
Lee defeated Lin Dan at the China Open last November and he scored a 22-20, 15-21, 21-4 victory against his arch-rival in the semi-finals of the Asian Badminton Championships in central Chinese city of Wuhan on April.
Lee advanced to the last four on Wednesday by easing past Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen 21-9, 21-15 in 40 minutes.
“My teammates who already made two finals have motivated me and I am looking forward to make it three,” said Lee.
“I feel comfortable on court and will be mentally and physically prepared for the semi-finals,” added Chong Wei.
Compared to Lee, Lin Dan was made to work by India’s Kidambi Srikanth before the Chinese badminton superstar fought back from dropping the second set to beat Srikanth 21-6, 11-21, 21-18 in 68 minutes.
The semi-finals match between Lee and Lin will be a Goliath vs. Goliath battle, with the winner moving a step closer to an Olympic title.
In the other half of the draw, World No. 2 Chen Long of China survived a stern examination by Son Wan Ho of Korea by beating the Korean 21-11, 18-21, 21-11 in 97 minutes. Chen’s opponent in the semi-finals will be Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen, who won his quarterfinal against Britain’s Rajiv Ouseph 21-12, 21-16.