KUALA LUMPUR: Will two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan (pic) announce his retirement at his home tournament, the China Open, in Fuzhou next month?
The men’s singles maestro may call it a day at the event (Nov 5-10) if his recent form is of any indication.
The five-time world champion was sent packing 14-21,17-21 by India’s B. Sai Praneeth in the first round of the Denmark Open on Tuesday – a day after celebrating his 36th birthday in Odense.
It was also his seventh first-round exit this year.And the former world No. 1 has now dropped to 18th in the world.
He is also out of the race to qualify for his fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A country can only have two representatives if both of them are ranked in the top eight.Currently, teammates Shi Yuqi and Chen Long are in second and fourth spot respectively.
Meanwhile, Li Xuerui, the 2012 London Olympics champion, announced her retirement yesterday after serving China for almost a decade. The 28-year-old shot to stardom when she won at the Asian Championships in 2010 and since then, she has been unstoppable before a knee injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics ruled her out of the game for more than a year.
She made a comeback and won several smaller tournaments but never really made her presence felt in top-tier tournaments.
Her last tournament this year was at the Korean Open in September when she had to retire after trailing Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 15-21,3-11 in the first round.