Badminton: Returning Lin chases sixth All-England title

Badminton: Returning Lin chases sixth All-England title
But Lin hasn't made that leap. It is sad because his story this year, in any other sport, would have had commentators choking up and SeaBiscuit-inspired scriptwriters shouting "feature film".

BIRMINGHAM, England - Double Olympic champion Lin Dan will launch his bid to become the fourth male singles player to win six All-England badminton titles when the sport's oldest tournament begins on Wednesday.

China's most decorated singles performer last appeared at the 105-year-old championships in 2012, when he won his fifth crown, and returns this year after taking time away from the sport.

Another triumph for the 31-year-old world number six would put him alongside former champions Frank Devlin of Ireland, Denmark's Erland Kops and Indonesian Rudy Hartono.

One of the competitors standing in fifth-seeded Lin's way is compatriot Chen Long, the world champion who won the All-England crown in 2013.

Chen, the top seed, plays a qualifier in his opening match while Lin faces Hong Kong's Wei Nan.

Defending champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia will be missing while he serves a ban after failing a doping test at the world championships in August. "It is a shame when the very best players in the world are unable to compete," Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy told Reuters. "It will be a shame that Chong Wei won't be able to renew his rivalry with Lin Dan as we have enjoyed some amazing rivalries between those two." Elsewhere, Indonesia's fifth-seeded pair Tantowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir are aiming to win their fourth mixed doubles title in a row.

Their quest looks likely to hinge on a potential quarter-final clash with England's Chris and Gabby Adcock, ranked sixth in the world.

The Commonwealth champions are looking to overturn a decade of Asian dominance in Birmingham and begin their assault on Wednesday against Indonesia's Markis Kido and Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth, a brother-sister combination.

The last time Britain gained success at the championships was 10 years ago when Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms lifted the mixed doubles title.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.