Kuala Lumpur, April 11 (IANS) Malaysian badminton team and media are keeping a close eye on the return of Chinese star shuttler Lin Dan, who has crashed the Malaysian dream of winning the country’s first Olympic gold medal twice.
Lin Dan is expected to make his first play in the Asian Badminton Championships in Taiwan to be held April 16-21. He is on a long break since the London Olympics and has dropped to 40th place in the world rankings.
Malaysia coach Tey Seu Bock said he won’t be surprised if the 29-year-old makes a strong return.
“If he shows up, I don’t think he’ll be under-prepared,” Tey was quoted as saying by Xinhua Thursday. “We will probably see him play at 80 percent of his best. Usually, the top players do not show a drastic drop in form.”
Lin Dan came from behind in the London Olympics men’s singles final, defeating his arch rival Lee Chong Wei 2-1 in an epic battle.
However, badminton fans may need to wait a little longer before watching another clash between the two best shuttlers, as Lee has decided not to play the Asian Championships.
The current World No.1 has stumbled recently, after losing to China’s Chen Long in the All-England Open final and another young Chinese talent Tian Houwei in the Australian Open last week.
However, Tey is confident that Lee will make a comeback soon. “Like Lin Dan, Chong Wei has a strong will and should be back at his best in no time,” he said.