KUALA LUMPUR: Sorry, Lin Dan!
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed on Thursday that they will not be awarding a wild card to any player for this year’s edition of the World Championships in Copenhagen in August.
BWF event manager M. Venugopal said that they had sent a letter to all their members regarding the matter on April 29.
They will make an official announcement on Friday.
Last year, BWF had given Lin Dan a wild card although he did not play for almost a year after defending the Olympic Games gold medal in London in 2012. Thanks to that wild card, Lin Dan went on to beat Lee Chong Wei in a controversial men’s singles final in Guangzhou, China.
In the final, Chong Wei retired while trailing 17-20 in the rubber game amidst allegations that the air-conditioning system was switched off to suit Lin Dan.
With Lin Dan out of this year’s edition, the road is now open for Chong Wei to become the country’s first world champion.
National singles chief coach Rashid Sidek, however, prefers to play down Chong Wei’s chances despite the absence of the world No. 83 Lin Dan.
“Chong Wei will continue to train as if Lin Dan is competing in the World Championships. There are other shuttlers, like China’s Chen Long and Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen, who Chong Wei will have to watch out for,” said Rashid.
“Chong Wei has beaten Chen Long twice but we must remember that China’s players will always strike back in major events. For Jorgensen, it is his home tournament and we know the advantages of playing at home. Chong Wei will not lose focus and will continue to give his 100% in training.”