BADMINTON

Chen out to steal Lin Dan's crown at worlds

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 August, 2013, 4:46am
 

Chen Long will be thrust into the spotlight today when the up-and-coming Chinese youngster takes on superstar compatriot Lin Dan in the men's quarter-finals at the world championships.

The game is likely to decide who will be the leading figure of team China in the build-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It's good to see Chen chasing me, the same thing happened when I chased my seniors in my younger days. Even if I beat Chen this year, the same scenario will come up next year or the year after next
Lin Dan

The 24-year-old Chen, who won bronze at the London Games last summer, has been hailed by coach Li Yongbo as the next generation star to replace Lin and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the post-London era.

With defending champion Lin not ready to give up his title without a fight and determined to remain a key player for Rio, plus the prospect of the winner facing Lee in the final, the match is set to be a classic.

Chen, who was beaten by Lin 2-0 in a training match during their preparations for the world event in Qingdao, knows he has a fight on his hands.

"Lin has been the leading figure of the team and it will be an opportunity for me to change the perception," he said. "He is always a great player although his overall quality may have dropped a bit, I have to be fully focused for the match."

Lin, the two-time Olympic champion, has only played one tournament since London and needed a wild card to take part in Guangzhou.

"This year's world championship is a big test for me because I have had a long absence before the tournament," said Lin. "I still have the quality to challenge any player but I won't take the result too seriously as I already have a lot of titles under my belt.

"It's good to see Chen chasing me, the same thing happened when I chased my seniors in my younger days. Even if I beat Chen this year, the same scenario will come up next year or the year after next."

Lee seems to have an easier path to the semis, against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.

Hong Kong's hopes, meanwhile, came to an end after all players were eliminated yesterday. The biggest upset of the day came in the women's singles when second seed and defending champion Wang Yihan of China was beaten in two games 21-18, 23-21 by P.V. Sindhu of India in the third round.

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