Kuala Lumpur: China’s two-time Olympic champion and five-time World Champion Lin Dan, announced his retirement on Saturday at age 36, and his great rival and good friend, Malaysia’s badminton legend – Lee Chong Wei posted the following heartfelt message to Lin Dan who was fondly called “Super Dan” by fans around the world.
“We knew this day would arrive,
Heavy moment of our lives;
You pulled down the curtain gracefully,
You were king where we fought so proudly;
Your final wave all four disappear,
Within the hush of silent tear.”
The Lee–Lin rivalry was one of the most storied in badminton history in the last two decades. Through their many epic and significant battles, badminton began to attract mainstream media attention around the world, and they had help transformed badminton into a popular sport globally.
Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan played each other a total of 40 matches, 22 times in the finals, and 15 times in the semi-finals. Lin Dan dominated their career head-to-head record with 28 wins while Lee Chong Wei was victorious 12 times.
Speaking to Malaysian media, Lee Chong Wei knew the decision to retire from badminton was not easy for Lin Dan.
“Whatever it is, I wish him all the best for the future. Maybe after this the two of us can promote badminton throughout the world,” said Lee.