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Friday March 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 2:14:21 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time Olympic Games champion Lin Dan’s name has been included in China’s squad for the Sudirman Cup from May 19-26 at Putra Stadium – but whether he will play or not is another matter.
“We were informed that Lin Dan is making a return at the Sudirman Cup. China are banking on him to spark team spirit and unity.
“They’ll be heavy favourites at the Sudirman Cup,” national singles chief coach Rashid Sidek said yesterday.
China have won the world mixed team title eight times since the its inception in 1989. Only two other nations have won it – Indonesia once (in 1989) and South Korea three times (1991, 1993 and 2003).
In the draw conducted by Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the Sudirman Cup yesterday, China were drawn in Group A with Indonesia and India. Malaysia are in Group C with Germany and Taiwan.
“If Malaysia become group champions, they’ll avoid China in the quarter-finals.
“We do not want to meet China too early in the tournament as they are the odds-on favourites in the Sudirman Cup,” said Rashid.
If Malaysia and China clash in the semi-finals and China choose to field Lin Dan, then world badminton fans will get to watch him and Lee Chong Wei in action for the first time after nine months.
In their last outing at the London Olympic Games, Chong Wei lost to Lin Dan in a fiercely-contested final at Wembley.
Rashid said that Malaysia would depend on Chong Wei although they had the option of fielding Liew Daren or Chong Wei Feng.
“Chong Wei will surely carry our hopes as the top singles player in the Sudirman Cup.
“He is the best player in the country and we’ll not treat the Sudirman Cup as a platform to try out players. The best will play,” said Rashid.
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Others, Sport, Sport, Sport, Badminton, Sudirman Cup, Lin Dan
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