Friday February 1, 2013
China's Lin Dan conspicuously missing from All-England
By Rajes Paul
KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton fans will have to wait a little longer for the return of two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan (pic).
The megastar of China broke his fans’ hearts when his name was conspicuously missing from the All-England Premier Super Series from March 5-10 despite being listed earlier.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) yesterday released the entry list for the All-England but China only confirmed the presence of Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Chen Jin, Wang Zhengming, Gao Huan and Chen Yuekun for the oldest tournament in the circuit.
No reasons were given for Lin Dan’s omission.
However, Lin Dan will not be penalised for his latest withdrawal. The four-time world champion has dropped to 14th in the world rankings after missing all the Open tournaments since beating Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the final of the London Olympic Games in August.
The BWF had made it compulsory only for the top 10 players in the world to compete in the Premier Super Series event and Lin Dan need not pay US$5,000 fine because he is now well outside the bracket.
The absence of the five-time All-England champion however does not guarantee world No. 1 and top seed Chong Wei a smooth passage to a third All-England title. He will have to be wary of China’s armada, led by second seed Chen Long.
In the men’s doubles, Denmark’s Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen and Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong are the top two seeds.
They will, however, be strongly challenged by reigning Olympic champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China, South Koreans Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun and reigning Malaysian Open champions Hendra Setiawan-Mohd Ahsan.
In the mixed doubles, third seeds Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying face a rough ride as well. The top two pairs – Xu Chen-Ma Jin of China and Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia – are making a return after skipping the Malaysian Open.