Tuesday March 5, 2013
China may still field Lin Dan at world meet
BADMINTON maestro Lin Dan (pic) can still represent China in the World Championships in August in Guangzhou even if he continues to stay away from international tournaments and miss the cut by the end of the qualifying period in April.
Lin Dan’s world ranking has dropped to 13th after the former took a long-break since defending the gold medal at the London Olympic Games in August.
The 29-year-old is not here at the All-England to defend his title. Last year, he won it for the fifth time after beating Lee Chong Wei in the final.
Malaysia’s All-England team manager Ng Chin Chai said Lin Dan, the four-time world champion, would still be Chong Wei’s main challenger at the World Championships.
“China will enter Lin Dan for the world meet, that’s for sure because the Badminton World Federation’s rule allowed them to do so,” added Chin Chai.
China are eligible to have a maximum of three places in the men’s singles. A country can have a maximum of three if all of them are ranked within the top 24 in the world rankings by the end of April. China now have Chen Long (No. 2), Du Pengyu (3), Chen Jin (5), Lin Dan (13) and Wang Zhengming (19) in the top 24.
“Unlike the Olympic Games, the qualification for the World Championships is done by numbers and not by names. China are guaranteed of three tickets and they can select any three players based on the order of the world rankings for the world meet.
”For instance, China can name Chen Long, Pengyu and Lin Dan for the world meet. They can still choose Lin Dan even if he is ranked lower than Chen Jin.
“It is their prerogative. I am sure than China will name Lin Dan in the team. They will also name him for the Sudirman Cup world mixed team event (from May 19-26 in Kuala Lumpur). Lin Dan is too precious of a player for them,” added Chin Chai.
On the Malaysian team’s arrival here on Sunday, Chin Chai said: “All is well. They have settled down. We had one training session today (yesterday) at the hall. It is now all about adjusting to the cold climate and condition here.”