Olympic hopes fading for Lin Dan

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Badminton fans really hope to see
Badminton fans really hope to see "Super Dan" one more time in the Olympics. (photo: Xinhua)

Beijing: World Badminton Federation (BWF) has released the latest Race To Tokyo – BWF Olympic Qualification rankings on Tuesday, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan who reached the All England second round but eventually lost to compatriot Chen Long last week, has moved up four positions to No. 26.

However, the badminton all-time great’s hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Games was fading fast as he is currently still ranked fifth among other Chinese men’s singles players.

Shi Yuqi, who reached the quarter-final at last week’s All England, gained 6,600 points, and has risen 2 places to 11th. Meanwhile, Chen Long who lost to Malaysian rising start Lee Zii Jia in the quarter-finals, improved one place to No. 6.

According to the BWF rules, each country can send two singles players to Tokyo, provided both of them are in the top 16 rankings.

The latest ranking also showed Lin Dan was behind two other compatriots, including Huang Yu Xiang who ranked No. 21, and Lu Guang Zu who ranked No. 23.

Given that BWF has suspended all international tournaments from 16 March until Sunday 12 April, 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; and with the original Tokyo Olympic qualification period ends on April 26, 2020, Lin will surely not able to earn enough ranking points to make it to Tokyo if BWF does not extend Olympic qualification period.

Lin could still earn some ranking points through the Asia Championships that were originally supposed to be held in Wuhan in central China but has been moved to Manila, Philippines. However, the future Asia Championships looked bleak as the Philippines government has ordered a lockdown on Manila from March 15 to April 14 to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, Lin Dan’s fifth Olympic appearance could be in serious jeopardy.

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