Lin Dan in a file photo. He faces junior Tian Houwei in the China Masters Grand Prix Gold final.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia were sent packing at the China Masters Grand Prix Gold in Changzhou, while local hero and five-time world champion Lin Dan is on the verge of winning his first title since making a comeback.
On Saturday, mixed doubles pair Tan Aik Quan-Lim Yin Loo went down fighting 15-21, 21-17, 12-21 to China’s Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong in a 65-minute semi-final match.
Aik Quan-Yin Loo were the only Malaysians left in the GP Gold semi-finals as all others had crashed out earlier. The other Malaysian casualties are Goh Soon Huat, Soo Teck Zhi, Chong Yee Han, Soong Joo Ven, Mohd Nur Azriyn Ayub (men’s singles); Chooi Kah Ming-Teo Ee Yi, Tai Ah Khang-Woon Choon Mun, Tan Chee Tean-Wong Fai Yin (men’s doubles); Ong Jian Guo-Lee Meng Yean, Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan, and Tan Chee Tean-Shevon Lai Jemie (mixed doubles).
Meanwhile, Lin Dan proved that he has not lost his touch when he tamed his younger compatriot and top seed Wang Zhengming 21-19, 21-12 in 45 minutes.
He will take on another junior, Tian Houwei, in the final on Sunday and should easily win it.
The GP Gold is Lin Dan’s first tournament since crushing Lee Chong Wei in the final of the World Championships in Guangzhou last year. It is only his third international Open since defending the gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012.