Lin Dan takes a swipe at ‘ignorant’ BWF officials
'Super Dan' shrugs off air-conditioning controversy and says sport's controlling body doesn't understand the needs of players
Chinese superstar Lin Dan took a swipe at badminton's global governing body after his record fifth world title win was hit by controversy.
"Super Dan" questioned whether the Badminton World Federation (BWF) understood players' needs after the body investigated the apparent failure of the air-conditioning during his victory over world No 1 Lee Chong Wei.
At this month's men's world final in Guangzhou the stadium air-conditioning, which had been affecting players at one end of the court, seemed to go off at the start of the second game, when Lin switched to the breezy side. With temperatures soaring, Lee was stretchered off with cramp when facing match point. Lee's coach, Tey Seu Bock, blamed the lack of air-conditioning but Chinese officials denied turning off the cooling system, saying it was simply set too low.
Lin said conditions were the same for both players and he suggested that losing the air-conditioning helped "bring out a higher level of competition".
"Many people, including those from the BWF, don't really understand what the main problems in badminton are, and what it most needs, because many officials are not competitors," he said.
"The biggest problem for badminton is wind direction and lighting. If those problems are not solved, it seriously impacts players' performances on the court.
"If a high-level player's performance is affected by these factors, they suffer setbacks and cannot be fully satisfied on the court.
"The ones suffering are not just the players, but also the fans and audience, so we shouldn't overlook these two factors. In fact, they are the main factors allowing high-level players to perform at the top of their game."
The row came 12 months after badminton was rocked at the London Olympics, when eight women's doubles players were kicked out for playing to lose group matches, in the hope of gaining an easier quarter-final draw.
"I think we cannot blame those Chinese players for making this mistake. It is not fair to them ... it is the Badminton World Federation that should take the responsibility for this issue," said Lin.
"The rules of the game which they set are not perfect, and have loopholes. And I think it is normal for players to exploit these loopholes to reach their goal."
The BWF declined comment on Lin's views.