21- Lin Dan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 July, 2008, 12:00am

Born: October 14, 1983 in Fujian

Entry: Singles

Credentials: Gold at 2006 and 2007 world championships, world number one

Why he'll win: Because he has the fire. Before Athens, Lin was the emerging talent set to sweep all before him - but things went badly wrong as he crashed out in the opening round. This didn't deter him as he dominated the game in the following three years, winning two world championships. Lin looked odds-on for Olympic gold until early this year when suddenly the pressure seemed to show. 'Super Dan' was beaten in the Korea Super Series and All England Championships finals; was involved in a high-profile clash with the South Korean national coach; and allegedly fought with his own coach after a training spat. But he bounced back and won the Thomas Cup, the final major tournament before the Games, and is the man to beat.

Who can stop him: Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia), Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia), Bao Chunlai (China)

Final: Sunday, August 17th