Yuqi ends big brother’s hopes of a sixth title

  • Badminton
  • Friday, 03 Aug 2018

Shi Yuqi of China reacts after a point against Chinas Lin Dan in their mens singles match during the badminton World Championships in Nanjing, Jiangsu province on August 2, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

FIVE-TIME world champion Lin Dan lost in a battle between two generation of Chinese players in the third round of the World Championships.

The match between Lin Dan and Shi Yuqi (pic) was touted to be the match of the day but it failed to live up to the hype as the 22-year-old ended his big brother’s hopes of a record sixth world crown with a classy 21-15, 21-13 win at the Youth Olympic Sports Park Arena yesterday.

It was the world No. 3 Yuqi’s third straight victory against Lin Dan, extending his fine head-to-head record against the two-time Olympic gold medallist to 4-1.

He also won against the 34-year-old Lin Dan at the All England title in March and the Malaysian Open in June.

When Lin Dan was asked if the defeat was a sign for him to call it quits and whether he should let young blood such as Yuqi to take over, the world No. 9 remained calm and composed.

“When I played against Chen Long at the 2013 world championships (quarter-finals), there were talks of Chen Long taking over from me and the talk is still ongoing.

“I think as long as I keep on playing, I will face this question no matter who I play.

“To me, this is a very proud thing. After this, there are still six to seven tournaments that I will take part in. I hope that I will be able to improve on my ranking.”

And Lin Dan was quick to hint that he intends to make his 12th appearance at next year’s world meet in Basel, Switzerland.

“This is definitely not my last World Championships, I can assure you,” he said.

Yuqi brushed off suggestion that Lin Dan took it easy and gave him the chance to win.

“I think we should watch a match rationally. We have shown what we can do to the best of our abilities,” said Yuqi.

“When I play the match to my best ability, I am showing my greatest respect for ‘brother Dan’.”

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