China badminton star Lin Dan rages at small venue and tiny crowd at Rio Olympics test event

Double Olympic champion was taken by surprise at the tournament in Brazil, saying he was unimpressed by the presentation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 November, 2015, 8:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 November, 2015, 9:15am

Double Olympic champion Lin Dan, of China, was taken by surprise at the ongoing Olympic test event in Brazil, saying he was unimpressed by the presentation.

With many top names pulling out of the grand prix-level competition, the mainlander was the only top 10 player at the Yonex Brazil Open, which also serves as a test event for the 2016 Rio Games.

However, it was the basic set-up at Pavilion 4 of the Riocentro (exhibition centre) that made Lin feel strange.

“I’ve come a long way to Rio with the expectations of experiencing the venue and the weather before next year’s games, but it seems very strange with only a small crowd watching the competition in a small venue,” Lin was quoted as saying by mainland media.

Only a 500-seat provisional spectator stand had been set up for the competition and according to media reports, there were less than 100 people, most of them students who were bussed in by organisers.

Badminton is scheduled to take place from August 11-20 at the same venue with a capacity of 6,500 spectators. Apparently, the organisers have yet to complete the real venue with nine months to go.

Meanwhile, promising Ng Ka-long was stopped in the men’s singles third round of the Macau Open, a grand prix gold event, after losing to Seung Jae-soo, of South Korea, yesterday.

I’ve come a long way to Rio with the expectations of experiencing the venue and the weather before next year’s games, but it seems very strange with only a small crowd watching the competition in a small venue
Lin Dan

Seung, who also defeated another Hong Kong player Wei Nan in the previous round, won in straight games 22-20, 21-17 over Ng, who beat Lin and world number seven Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan to reach the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open superseries a week ago.

Another Hong Kong player, Wong Wing-ki, was also eliminated after his defeat to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan. Wong, the 11th seed, lost 21-11, 21-19.

In the mixed doubles, Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah and the pair of Chan Yun-lung and Tse Ying-suet went through to the quarter-finals.