Wang Lin – Fading to bloom anew

In last year’s China Masters Super Series, a simple return overturned the momentum of new women’s singles World Champion Wang Lin, subjecting her to a half-year haze of injury and […]

Wang Lin at the 2011 Singapore Open © Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

In last year’s China Masters Super Series, a simple return overturned the momentum of new women’s singles World Champion Wang Lin, subjecting her to a half-year haze of injury and rehabilitative training.

By Tracy Ren, Badzine special contributor.  Photos: Rights reserved

Finally getting back to the court this spring, Lin stepped scrupulously to rebuild her confidence.  However, starting out again is never easy.  Another knee injury befell Lin in June’s Singapore Open Super Series when she met her team-mate Wang Shixian in the second round.  Fortunately though, the tense atmosphere was soothed when it was discounted that this was the recurrence of the former injury.  Unlike her mental state of nine months ago, Lin confronted her fear, receiving the appointment made by fate placidly and optimistically.  She has never abandoned her hopes of participating in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Wang Lin unable to finish the 2010 China Masters © Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

Life as a roller coaster

For Wang Lin, the year 2010 became both the peak and low ebb in her career.  From April’s failure to be chosen for China’s Uber Cup team to her World Championship title in August and then the injury that struck her in the China Masters in September.  All she suffered and revelled in during these months amounted to more like a roller coaster.

However the anterior cruciate ligament rupture in September was more like a derailment.  She was put on a flight to Germany when she didn’t even realize what the injury would mean to her.  She had nothing to look forward to but boring rehabilitative training for the next three months, a period which soon became one she simply did not want to remember.  Every time she saw the game tapes and news about badminton on the Internet, she was so sad that she could hardly go on.  She said that she cried out all of her 21 years of tears during these three months.


Bottom right is the logo of the Wang Lin Fan Club, featuring the player's favourite cartoon character

Odonkor, the German footballer who underwent recovery treatment in the Hessingpark Clinic at the same time as Lin, touched Lin deeply.  He told Lin that he underwent five operations in five years.  Six months for recovering and six months for playing football, that is life.  The injury made Lin more mature.  She learned to play it cool when facing problems, to look at things and solve problems from varied aspects.

Sister Lin falls from the sky

Born in a family with a long tradition of badminton, young Wang Lin’s toys were badminton equipment.  She got into badminton seriously at 11, was Asian Junior Champion at 16 and won the China Masters at 17.  Thus, there was always an aura surrounding the young star and it was said that ‘Sister Lin has fallen from the sky’, Sister Lin being another name for Lin Daiyu, a main character in Dream of the Red Chamber, one of four Chinese classics.  However, Wang Lin is a bright and optimistic girl, whose personality is really the opposite of Sister Lin in the novel, who is sentimental and melancholy.  Even when Wang Lin goes through frustrating times, she still wears a smile like sunshine.

Wang Lin after her 2010 World Championship victory © Shi Tang for Badmintonphoto

Like other young women her age, Wang Lin enjoys shopping.  One of her rules is to carry loveliness to the end.  Her favourite cartoon character is Stitch, the blue alien dog in the Disney animation Lilo & Stitch.  Lin likes blue best, so all her bags, necklaces and cellphone pendants are decorated with blue pictures of the Stitch character.  Lin’s fans therefore call themselves Stitch, and guard her like Stitch guards her owner in the cartoon.

Waiting for another chance to bloom

It seems like only yesterday that we saw Wang Lin bloom with her sweet smile on the World Championship podium just last year.  It may be the most eye-catching moment in Lin’s eleven-year career.  However, a bigger Olympic dream is in front of her.  Even the repeated injuries can’t devastate her.  This gritty optimistic Chinese girl keeps moving forward in search of her dream.

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