Lin Dan claims fourth consecutive crown at National Games

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-08 12:12:37|Editor: Zhou Xin


Lin Dan (top) of Beijing celebrates after the men's singles badminton final against Shi Yuqi of Jiangsu at the 13th Chinese National Games in north China's Tianjin Municipality, Sept. 8, 2017. Lin Dan claimed the title by 2-0. (Xinhua/Xu Zijian)

TIANJIN, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese star shuttler Lin Dan built on his legend by claiming a fourth consecutive men's singles crown at the 13th Chinese National Games here on Friday.

Lin, 33, got past a potentially difficult opponent Shi Yuqi, No. 3 in world ranking, with surprising ease. The two-time Olympic champion beat the promising star 12 of his junior 21-12, 21-13 in just 38 minutes in a dominant style.

Lin met little resistance from Shi in the final as he took the fully control, while Shi constantly made mistakes on the court.

"I have been playing on the court in the past two weeks. I never thought the final would be finished in such an easy way," said Lin.

Less than two weeks ago, Lin ended World Championships trip to Glasgow with a silver, falling to young Dane Viktor Axelsen before he flew directly to National GAmes host city Tianjin, 140 kilometers southeast of Beijing.

"Everyone expects me to clinch the fourth consecutive crown, but indeed I only hope to focus on every match. Now the pressure is eventually released," added Lin.

As a two-time Olympic and five-time world champion, Lin has been dominant in the National Games, held every four years. He has participated in five Games since 2001, entered all of the five men's singles finals, won gold medals in 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017.

"This year's National Games could probably be my last National Games. A total of 20 years, I'm so satisfactory to end with such a result."

Besides the men's singles crown, Lin also led Beijing team to win their first men's team gold medal by claiming a hard-fought 3-2 final victory over reigning champions Fujian, spearheaded by Rio Olympic champion Chen Long.

Many people expected Lin to retire after last summer's Rio Olympics, where he surrendered his title and lost the bronze-medal match to Axelsen. But Lin shows he is still hungry for victory. Although he has been below his best in recent years, Lin is still a past master on big occasions.

This year at the Malaysia Open, Lin toppled 11-time Malaysian champion Lee Chong Wei to claim his first title in Lee's homeland. Last month at the World Championships, Lin showed the enduring quality by making his seventh World Championship final.

Right after the World Championships, Lin took part in the men's team and singles competition at the National Games, playing 15 matches in 19 days.

"The 19 days are very slow to me. Every day I have to prepare and wait for the match, which is different from training. With the growth of my age, more young shuttlers will challenge me. So I'm so proud to reach such an achievement."

Lin expected he could participate in the Tokyo Olympics, but right now what he needs most is to be with his family.

"Now what I expect most is to go back home and hug my little son. I have been away from home for a while," said Lin.

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KEY WORDS: National Games