THE world’s two greatest men’s singles players Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei have served badminton fans with epic matches for over 15 years.
And Lin Dan does not want the rivalry between them to end abruptly.
The 34-year-old Lin Dan still looks forward to high-quality matches that bring the best from both and wants it to last for another two years at least.
The five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist said he will be waiting for his rival-cum-friend Chong Wei to battle it out at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
For now, Lin Dan is sad that his foe is down with a respiratory-related disease and hopes the Malaysian will return from the two-month treatment in Taiwan with flying colours.
He says Chong Wei’s priority now should be to take his time to recover from his illness.
“I hope to play against him again when he’s fully recovered. The Tokyo Olympics is still two years away. For oldies like us, the one that matters is the big stage,” said Lin Dan.
“Although the younger players have the edge over us in terms of fitness but match experience is important, too. We, the old guys, have that!”
The duo have met 40 times since 2004, with Lin Dan winning 28 of them.
That includes the Olympic finals in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London and the World Championships finals at the 2011 London and 2013 Guangzhou.
Lin Dan admitted his rivalry with Chong Wei has come a long way.
“We know each other’s strength and weaknesses since our teenage days where we chased the same dream of representing our countries and goals of becoming world and Olympic champions,” Lin Dan said.
“We now have our own families and children.
“Yet, we are still chasing our dreams and keep on fighting.
“It's very rare to have such a strong opponent throughout my career. I treasure it very much,” said Lin Dan.
Yesterday, Lin Dan began his quest for a record sixth world crown by strolling to a 21-14, 21-14 win over Holland’s Mark Caljouw in the first round of the World Championships.
He hopes to go one step better after losing to Denmark's Viktor Axelsen in the final at last year’s edition in Glasgow, Scotland.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Men’s singles: Shi Yuqi (Chn) bt Adam Mendrek (Cze) 21-13, 21-11; Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) bt Zvonimir Durkinjak (Cro) 21-17, 21-12; Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) bt Rosario Maddaloni (Ita) 21-13, 21-18; Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Duarte Nuno Anjo (Por) 21-8, 21-7; Lin Dan (Chn) bt Mark Caljouw (Ned) 21-14, 21- 14; Ygor Coelho (Bra) bt Vincent Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) 22-20, 19-21, 11-4 ret; H.S. Prannoy (Ind) bt Abhinav Manota (Nzl) 21-12, 21-11; Raul Must (Est) bt Vladimir Malkov (Fra) 21-13, 15-21, 21-15; Chen Long (Chn) bt Hsu Jen-hao (Tpe) 21-13, 21-15; Sergey Sirant (Rus) bt Milan Ludik (Cze) 21-14, 21-16; Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) bt Ivan Rusev (Bul) 21-13, 21-10; Sameer Verma (Ind) bt Lucas Corvee (Fra) 21-13, 21-10; Huang Yuxiang (Chn)bt Pham Cao Cuong (Vie) 21-19, 21-11; Rasmus Gemke (Den) bt Adrian Dziolko (Pol) 21-11, 21-6; Khosit Phetpradab (Tha) bt Georges Julien Paul (Ger) 21-15, 21-12; Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) bt Eutu Heino (Fin) 21-9, 21-9.
Men’s doubles: Manu Attri-B. Sumeeth Reddy (Ind) bt Daniel Nikolov-Ivan Rusev (Bul) 21-13, 21-18; Bao Minh-Duong Bao Duc (Vie) bt Peyo Boichinov-Ivan Panev (Bul) 22-20, 21- 18; Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pangkaryanira-Ade Yusuf Santoso (Ina) bt Kittinupong Kedren-Dechapol Puavaranukroh (Tha) 21-15, 17-21, 21-15; Han Chengkai-Zhou Haodong (Chn) bt Milosz Bochat-Adam Cwalina (Pol) 21-19, 21-11; Mark Lamsfuss-Marvin Emil Seidel (Ger) bt Jason Anthony Ho-Shue-Nyl Yakura (Can) 21-16, 21-18; Jelle Maas-Robin Tabeling (Ned) bt Phillip Chew-Ryan Chew (US) 21-13, 19-21, 21-15; Rohan Kapoor-Kuhoo Garg (Ind) bt Toby Ng-Rachel Honderich (Can)21-19, 21-6; Tinn IsriyanetKittisak Namdash (Tha) bt Evgenij Dremin-Denis Grachev (Rus) 21-15, 21-12; Jacco Arends-Ruben Jille (Ned) bt Bahaedeen Ahmad Alshannik-Mohd Naser Mansour Nayef (Jor) 21-10, 21-6.
Women’s singles: Wendy Chen (Aus) bt Kate Foo Kune (Mri) 21-13, 21-17; Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) bt Jamie Hsu (US) 21-10, 21-11; Soraya De Visch Eijbergen (Ned) bt Maria Ulitina (Ukr) 21-15, 21-15; Mia Blichfeldt (Den) bt Natalia Perminova (Rus) 21-13, 21-9; Rachel Honderich (Can) bt Martina Repiska (Svk) 21-12, 21-18; Fitriani Fitriani (Ina) bt Linda Zetchiri (Bul) 21-10, 19-21, 21-13; Chloe Birch (Eng) bt Beatriz Corrales (Spa) 21-17, 21-19; Soniia Cheah (Mas) bt Gayle Mahulette (Ned) 21-13, 21-12; Goh Jin Wei (Mas) bt Pai Yu-po (Tpe) 21-8, 21-15; Fabienne Deprez (Ger) bt Evgeniya Kosetskaya (Rus) 21-19, 21-16; Vu Ti Tran (Vie) bt Neslihan Yigit (Tur) 21-19, 21-17; Gregoria Mariska Tunjung (Ina) bt Kirsty Gilmour (Sco) 21-18, 18-21, 21-14; Chen Xiaoxin (Chn) bt Line Kjaersfeldt (Den) 21-10, 17-21, 21-13; Nguyen Thuy Linh (Vie) bt Mariya Mitsova (Bul) 21-9, 21-14; Yip Pui Yin (Hkg) w/o Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha); Aliye Demibrag (Tur) bt Sabrina Jaquet (Swi) w.o..
Women’s doubles: Bengisu Ercetin-Nazlican Inci (Tur) bt Sanyogita Ghorpade-Prajakta Sawant (Ind) 21-13, 21-18; Emilie Lefel-Anne Tran (Fra) bt Daniela Macias-Danica Nishimura (Per) 21-9, 21-9; Linda Efler-Eva Janssens (Ger) bt Doha Hany-Hadia Hosny (Egy) 21-15, 21-9; Ng Wing Yung-Yuen Sin Ying (Hkg) bt Maryna Ilyinskaya-Yelyzaveta Zharkar (Ukr) 21-11, 21-11; Isabel Herttrich-Carla Nelte (Ger) bt Michelle Ton-Josephine Wu (Can) 21-13, 21-11; Huang Dongping-Li Wenmei (Chn) bt Hsu Ya-ching-Wu Ti-jung (Tpe) 21-14, 14-21, 21-14; Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) bt Delphine Delrue-Lea Palermo (Fra) 21-17, 22-20; Ekaterina Bolotova-Alina Davletova (Rus) bt Ariel Lee-Sydney Lee (US) 21-7, 21-9.
Mixed doubles: Marvin Emil Seidel-Linda Efler (Ger) bt Ben Lane-Jessica Pugh (Eng) 21-10, 21-18; Evgenij DreminEvgenia Dimova (Rus) bt Lu Ching-yao-Chiang Kai-hsin (Tpe) 21-10, 14-21, 21-16; Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (Mas) bt Liao Min-chun-Chen Hsiao-huan (Tpe) 21-16, 21-15; Yugo Kobayashi-Misaki Matsutomo (Jpn) bt Oliver Schaller-Celine Burkart (Sui) 21-14, 21-17; Thom Gicquel-Delphine Delrue (Fra) bt Yantoni Edy Saputra-Marsheilla Gischa Islami (Ina) 21-13, 21-14; Jacco Arends-Selena Piek (Ned) bt Mathew Fogarty-Isabel Zhong (US) 21-6, 21-4; Peter Kaesbauer-Olga Konon (Ger) bt Rodion Alimov-Alina Davletova (Rus) 21-7, 21-12; Same Magee-Chloe Magee (Irl) bt Fredrik KristensenSolvar Flaten Jorgensen (Nor) 21-13, 21-8; Lee Chun HeiChau Hoi Wah (Hkg) bt Dimitar Yanakiev-Mariya Mitsoa (Bul) 21-11, 21-16; Ronald Ronald-Annisa Saufika (Ina) bt Bastian Kersaudy-Lea Palermo (Fra) 21-19, 11-21, 21-16; Pranaav Jerry Chopra-N. Sikki Reddy (Ind) bt Jakub Bitman-Alzbeta Basova (Cze) 21-17, 21-15; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa (Ind) bt Niclas Nohr-Sara Thygesen (Den) 21-9, 22-20; Saurabh Sharma-Anoushkha Parikh (Ind) bt Enejoh Abah-Peace Orji (Ngr) 21-13, 21-12; Do Tuan Duc-Pham Nhu Thao (Vie) bt Ronan Labar-Audrey Fontaine (Fra) 17-21, 21-18, 21-17.
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