Lin Dan is arguably the greatest men’s player in the history of badminton. He is aptly regarded as the ‘Roger Federer’ of Badminton and has accomplished some unmatchable feats in the history of the sport. One of the best accomplishments of his career was defending his 2008 Gold at the Beijing Olympics at the 2012 London Olympics. And he did that in style, in an absolute classic of a contest against his bitter rival, Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei.
Dan, the world champion, became the first player to defend his title in Olympic badminton history as he came from a game down to prevail 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 at a raucous Wembley Arena.
To highlight the sheer skill of this Olympic singles’ final, it trumped the World Championship final held at the same venue in 2011 when Chong Wei lost after holding match points.
“My mind is blank right now. I am very, very happy,” said Dan. “This medal is confirmation of all my hard work since 2008. It is very tough being a Chinese player because we work so hard and sacrifice so much.”
Lee Chong Wei was distraught after losing the contest, saying, “”I apologise to all the Malaysian people. I wanted very much to win the first ever gold medal for my people. I worked very hard but what is done is done.”
This would truly turn out to be a generation defining rivalry in the sport of Badminton.