PETALING JAYA: Malaysian singles chief coach Hendrawan does not feel Lin Dan’s retirement will leave a void in the Chinese national team.
The Chinese star has been struggling to be where he once was and age has caught up with him in the last two years as he lost to little known opponents.
At world No. 21, Lin Dan is now third in the Chinese men’s singles rankings order and only two rungs ahead of the much younger compatriot Lu Guangyu.
Reigning Olympic champion Chen Hong is the highest ranked Chinese men’s singles player at sixth followed by Shi Yuqi in eighth spot.
“I don’t think Lin Dan’s retirement will affect China team too much. Based on Lin Dan’s recent showing, he is no longer the threat he used to be.
“Of course if he had not retired, China would have named him for fourth singles slot for the Thomas Cup Finals in Denmark at the end of this year for his experience but that is about it,” said Hendrawan, who was one of Indonesia’s top badminton player of his generation.
Hendrawan chalked a career high by becoming the world men’s singles champion in the 2001 edition in Seville, Spain.
Hendrawan did not cross swords with Lin Dan when the Chinese shuttler was climbing up the ranks.
The Sydney Olympics silver medallist shuttler retired from competitive badminton in 2003 to pave the way for the likes of Taufik Hidayat and Sony Dwi Kuncoro to come out.
“Top players come and go. It’s the same for every major badminton playing country but it’s always best to look forward to the future generation,” he added.
Hendrawan himself has his own major task to worry of. He has to train Lee Zii Jia to become one of the top five players in the world before the Tokyo Olympics next year.
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