Lin helps Chen get to cusp of Olympics
Updated: 2012-04-23 08:01
By Tang Zhe in Qingdao (China Daily)
Lin Dan isn't just China's top-ranked player. He's so good, he's even earning Olympic berths for other people now.
Chen Jin lauded Lin's decision to go home early after Chen swept compatriot Du Pengyu, 2-0, in the final of the 2012 Badminton Asia Championships in Qingdao on Sunday.
The win gave Chen 7,000 points and helped him surpass Denmark's Peter Gade to became the world No 4 in the Olympic qualification contest.
Only one tournament, the India Open Super Series, remains before the Olympic points race closes at the end of this month.
The world's top four will qualify for the Olympics.
Lin, who already secured a berth along with Malaysian world No 1 Lee Chong Wei and teammate Chen Long, withdrew from his semifinal against Chen Jin on Saturday due to a waist injury, which automatically sent Chen to the final.
Chinese media speculated the Beijing Olympic champion agreed to quit to help Chen.
"One more teammate means more chances for China at the Olympics," Lin said. "It's good for our team and the Chinese men's singles are capable of reaching this. Maybe a lot of countries don't want three of us to be there, but we hope to grab the opportunity."
Chen Jin, who won bronze at the Beijing Olympic, said Lin also needed to take into consideration the Thomas and Uber Cup, which will be held May 20-27 in Wuhan, Hubei province.
"Lin does have injuries, and I think he made a right decision as the Thomas and Uber Cup is approaching," he said. "He needs safe treatment to prepare for the Cup, because the Chinese team as a whole is more important."
Chen Jin admitted he was under more pressure in the Olympic race, though several continental rivals were absent from the championship, where seven of the eight men's and women's singles semifinalists were from China.
"I have more pressure, that is for sure, because I didn't play well earlier this year because of an injury," Chen said. "Without systematic training, I made more mistakes in matches and my physical condition dropped, which led to losses. When I recovered, there were not many tournaments left and my points are still pending, and it put me under a lot of pressure."
(China Daily 04/23/2012 page31)