Badminton: Rumble in Rio

Badminton: Rumble in Rio
STAR POWER - Lee Chong Wei (in green) taking selfies with national intermediate squad players and Singapore Sports School students at Mandarin Orchard yesterday.

He lives, breathes and sleeps badminton, having once said: "If the shuttlecock could be eaten, I would have eaten it already."

It perhaps explains why world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei dreams of finally banishing his demons by overcoming his arch-nemesis Lin Dan in an Olympic final.

Yesterday, the 31-year-old Malaysian confirmed he will play on until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, ending speculation of him entering politics, for now.

Ahead of a dinner date with 22 national intermediate squad players and Singapore Sports School students at Mandarin Orchard last night, Lee told The New Paper of his fierce desire to deliver his country's first Olympic gold medal.

"I would like to bring back at least a medal, but who doesn't want to win an Olympic gold? Especially when Malaysia has never won one before," said the Malaysian star of his 2016 target.

"Lin Dan has taken a break since the London Olympics and we don't know what his plans are.

"But sure, I would love to have another epic battle against him in Brazil."

Lee is the favourite to win the men's singles title at this week's OUE Singapore Open 2014, which is being held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

This will be his first appearance at the Singapore Open after a four-year absence, and he will take on Hong Kong's world No. 43 Nan Wei in the first round tonight.

Over the years, Lee's clashes with China's superstar Lin Dan have lit up indoor arenas around the world.

They have met in the last two Olympic finals, both going the way of the Chinese shuttler.

Lee lost the 2008 Beijing Games final 21-12, 21-8. He suffered a serious ankle injury in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics in London, but made a remarkable recovery to reach another final against Lin Dan.

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