By Martin Petty
BANGKOK, June 29 (Reuters) – World number one Lin Dan of China got his Olympic preparations off to a positive start by beating Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana 17-21 21-15 21-13 to win the Thailand Open on Sunday.
Winner of back to back world titles in 2006 and 2007, Lin put in a solid performance in his final outing before the Beijing Games and showed his class to come from behind and beat the determined Boonsak.
"He was tough, difficult to beat," Lin told reporters. "This win was very important for me, it's a good way to start and it's good for my confidence. I feel great now."
Lifted by a near-capacity home crowd, Boonsak had the best of a close first game, edging ahead of a sluggish Lin at 18-17 before sealing the win with a showmanlike flick from behind his back.
Lin, who failed to make an impact at the Athens Olympics, came out fighting to take the next two games, varying his play with delicate flicks and potent returns which had Boonsak darting around the court.
The Thai, who lost in the semi-finals in Athens to eventual winner Taufik Hidyat, struggled to cope as the fitter, stronger Lin opened up sizeable leads to take the last two games with six and eight-point cushions.
"My fitness is not as good as his, so I need to improve," Boonsak told reporters. Midway through the second game, I struggled and he was much stronger. I have to work on my fitness before the Olympics."