Exhausted Lin withdrawn from HK Open for 'safety reasons'
Lin Dan pulled out of the HK$1.9 million Hong Kong Open Super Series yesterday, succumbing to injury for the second time in two weeks.
The three-time world champion and 2008 Olympic Games gold medallist was scheduled to take on Nguyen Tien-minh of Vietnam in the quarter-finals at Queen Elizabeth Stadium last night, but the Chinese camp decided to withdraw him.
'He was very tired and had some muscle problems after the match on Tuesday night,' said coach Xia Xuanze. 'We took him out of the tournament for safety reasons. Lin will stay in Hong Kong for some rest and receive medical treatment.'
Lin was in commanding form when he defeated Shon Wan-ho of South Korea 21-15, 21-16 on Tuesday night, but the 27-year-old had already hinted on his arrival he might not be able to finish the tournament, saying he was exhausted because of a hectic schedule since last month's Asian Games.
He also withdrew from last week's China Open Super Series at the same stage because of muscle problems.
He will attend a private party today hosted by businessman Tsang Hin-chi in recognition of his contribution to the development of badminton on the mainland.
One of the most popular sports stars in China, Lin's latest television commercial earned him more than 3 million yuan (HK$3.5 million), while his romance with Xie Xingfang, a former badminton world champion, has created huge interest on the mainland. It is rumoured that they plan to marry early next year, but both have declined to comment. Lin only said on his arrival he was working hard to make it happen soon.
China lost another player yesterday when fifth seed Chen Jen withdrew from the quarter-finals because of a leg injury. He was due to play top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia last night. Lee will now take on Nguyen in today's semi-finals.
The other semi-final will feature 2004 Athens Games gold medalist Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia and China's Chen Long, who won last week's China Open. Hidayat beat Park Sung-hwan of South Korea 23-21, 21-17 last night, while Chen struggled past another South Korean, Lee Hyun-il, 17-21, 21-16, 21-19.
In the women's singles, top seed Wang Xin of China made no mistake with a 21-13, 21-15 win over Pi Hongyan of France to set up an all-China semi-final against Wang Shixian. The match will be a repeat of the Guangzhou Asian Games final when Wang Shixian prevailed 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) for the gold medal.
Yip Pui-yin, meanwhile, failed to repeat her Asian Games success over Saina Nehwal of India as the Hong Kong No1 lost 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) in her quarter-final.
Yip defeated the Indian to claim a bronze medal in Guangzhou, but was too eager to claim success in front of the home crowd, which cost her dearly.
Nehwal will now meet Juliane Schenk of Germany, the winner over Jiang Yanjiao of China, for a place in the final.