Expect Lin Dan revival, says badminton great

Sports | 9 Mar 2016

The best of Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan is still to come, says Danish great Peter Gade.

Lin is seeking a sixth All-England Open title at the age of 32 and, if Gade is right, the Chinese superstar could experience a revival after three low- key years.

But whether that happens in Birmingham this week or at the Rio Games in August, where Lin will be chasing a record third Olympic singles gold medal, is a burning question.

"Lin Dan has had the Olympics in his mind for a long time, and a lot of things that have happened have been about that," said Gade.

By limiting travel and competition, Lin may have been preserving his body.

"We have still to see the best of Lin Dan," Gade said. "He will come alive in a different way for the Olympics, I think. But whether ... we see his best this week, we don't know."

Lin captured only two front-line titles last year, and has won a mere eight since his last All-England triumph four years ago. He has also taken two lengthy breaks from the sport.

Chen Long, who is expected to succeed Lin as China's pre-eminent player, will start as top seed in his bid to win his third All-England title.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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