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August 10, 2009

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Home » Sports » Badminton

Lin chases hat-trick of world crowns in India

CHINESE ace Lin Dan is poised to become the first player in world championship history to win three successive men's singles titles.

Defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Lin, winner of the world championship in 2006 and 2007, has held an edge over his Malaysian arch-rival Lee Chong Wei in major competitions and will hope to extend that in the event beginning today in Hyderabad.

His aggressive style, which earned Lin the nickname of "Super Dan", was the feature of his triumphs over world No. 1 Lee in the finals at last year's Beijing Olympics and at the All-England Open in Birmingham.

Lin will carry that confidence into the tournament, while Lee will be burdened by the unhappy memory of his last sojourn to this southern Indian city, where he made a first-round exit from the Indian Open five months ago, after a bout of food poisoning.

Lin and top-seeded Lee are both drawn in the top-half of the championship along with seasoned Danish star and former silver medalist Peter Gade, who is seeded No. 3.

In the other half, second-seeded Chinese Chen Jin and former world champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, No. 4 seed this time, have a relatively easier draw.

In the women's singles, another player chasing a record third title is Lin's girlfriend, Xie Xingfang. Other fancied players are world No. 1 Zhou Mi of Hong Kong, China, the top seed, and No. 2 Wang Lin of China.

Xie, silver medalist in Beijing, is hoping to surpass former stars Li Lingwei, Han Aiping and Ye Zhaoying - who all have two world singles titles to their credit.

India, subject to sporadic acts of terrorist violence, has devoted heavy security to the event, with 1,000 police officers making a five-cordon security ring around the venue and team hotels.

Despite this England pulled out of the championships due to security concerns for its team, Badminton England announced yesterday.


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