PETALING JAYA: National shuttler Lee Chong Wei is just hours away from facing his bitter rival, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, in an epic semi-final showdown at the Riocentro Pavilion 4 in Rio de Janeiro.
Both players will be looking at Friday's fixture with the aim of booking a place at the gold-medal match on Saturday.
This is the third time that Chong Wei will face his rival in the Olympics, having faced Lin Dan previously at the men's finals of the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
World number one Chong Wei enters the semi-final clash after easily defeating Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen 21-9, 21-15 at the quarter-final stage.
Lin Dan on the other hand had a much tougher time after being pushed to his limit in his quarter-final match against India’s K. Srikanth.
Besides leading the way in their head to head record with 25 wins to Chong Wei's 11, Lin Dan is also said to perform better against Chong Wei at big tournaments.
Of eight encounters with Lin Dan in major championships, Chong Wei has only managed to pull away with a single victory - during the 2011 All-England final.
Despite this, Chong Wei has had the better of Lin Dan during their last two encounters - at last November's China Open and at the Asian Badminton Championships also in China, in April.
The other men’s singles semi-final match is between second seed Chen Long from China and Denmark's Viktor Axelsen.
National mixed-doubles team Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying claimed the silver medal for Malaysia on Wednesday after losing to Indonesian's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
Malaysia will have another chance at a gold medal later on Friday when men's doubles pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong take on China’s Fu Haifeng-Zhang Nan.
The match between Chong Wei and Lin Dan is scheduled to start at 7.30pm.