GUANGZHOU: Chinese superstar Lin Dan took the badminton world title for a fifth time yesterday after his arch rival Lee Chong Wei was stretchered off the court in the third game.
The current world number one from Malaysia dropped to his haunches at 19-16 down and then tried to recover.
But he had to retire from the match at 20-17 — leaving Lin, who is the world and Olympic champion, to take the title 16-21, 21-13, 20-17.
“It would appear that he suffered some cramps and he has subsequently been taken to hospital,” said Gayle Alleyne, communications manager for badminton’s world body the BWF.
The two badminton legends put on a brilliant display in the first set in front of a packed Tianhe gymnasium in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
“Both Chong Wei and I did a good job — it’s a pity he could not last until the end,” said Lin after the match.
“He got this cramp out there and it reminded me of my training — when you have that, you cannot move at all. From that moment we were not opponents any more. I really wanted to help and I went over to ask if he was OK. He didn’t want to give up.”
Thai teen defeats Li to take women’s title
Thai teenager Ratchanok Intanon took the women’s singles title, beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in a massive upset.
Ratchanok, 18, becomes the first Thai player to win gold at the world championships after defeating 22-year-old top seed Li.
“Before this match I didn’t have confidence when I was competing against the top players, but after today [yesterday], I will,” she said. “Being the champion has been my dream. At the end of the match all the tough moments from all the years came into my mind and I thought, ‘Finally, I got it.’”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.
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