BAC – Golden Opportunity for Lin Dan

The three-time world champion is at the lowest point of his career.  Can he rebound in time and win the BAC? By: Dev S Sukumar/ DNA Photos: (archive) Lin […]


The three-time world champion is at the lowest point of his career.  Can he rebound in time and win the BAC?

By: Dev S Sukumar/ DNA Photos: (archive)

Lin Dan (pictured) is at the strangest moment of his badminton career. Never before has he faced the questions that confront him now. The (BAC) is an event he has never considered seriously before; but it is an event he needs to win now. As he enters the contest as no. 2 seed, he will look at the tournament to regain some of the confidence with which he dominated world badminton for the better part of the last decade.

The three-time world champion has been a shadow of himself since the World Championships in Hyderabad last year. China decided to focus on building its domestic league instead of sending its players to Super Series events, and a reluctant Lin was forced to lead his squad. A shock loss in the league followed, and since then, the great left-hander has been at the lowest ebb of his badminton life.

Lin is known as a gutsy fighter whose losses in any year can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Yet, after the Worlds, he lost to players either way below his level, or to opponents he has always had the measure of. At the 100th All England in March, Lin Dan looked off-colour during his loss to countryman Bao Chunlai in the quarters. At the Swiss Open he lost to Dane Peter Gade for the first time in three years. With an erratic genius like worlds09-saina2Taufik Hidayat, these would have been normal occurrences, but Lin Dan hates to lose. With the Thomas Cup coming up, Lin will be eager to win a tournament that will be minus his most dangerous competitors.

Taufik Hidayat will obviously be the centre of attention, for his skills with the racket are unmatched. But there are a few others who could cause a few flutters. Chief among them could be Kenichi Tago of Japan, whose display at the All England assured observers that a new phenomenon was on the way. Tago combines physical power with astonishing finesse and indomitable will. Choi Ho Jin, who had an upset win over Lin late last year, could be another who could spring a surprise. Then there are Chinese young guns Wang Zhengming and Gao Huan; Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana and Tanongsak, and Indonesia’s Dionysius Rumbaka.

In the women’s singles, Saina Nehwal (pictured) should be able to breeze through to the semis. Perhaps the hardest contest could come in the last four from Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin, who beat world No.1 Wang Yihan at the Swiss Open. Some of the lesser-known Chinese qualifiers, such as Xia Jingyun, could also cause a few headaches in the main draw.

For complete results from the 2010 Yonex-Sunrise Badminton Asia Championships, CLICK HERE

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