Monday, March 29, 2010

TheStar news: Lin Dan drops in ranking

By Rajes Paul

KUALA LUMPUR: Three-time world champion Lin Dan has lost his status as the top ranked Chinese player in the men’s singles world ranking list.
But Malaysia’s coach Misbun Sidek and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei believes that the Olympic champion will bounce back as the first singles player for China in the Thomas Cup Finals, which will be held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from May 9-16.

There are four Chinese among the top ranked players in the world. Chen Jin is at No. 2 behind Chong Wei followed by Lin Dan (5th), Bao Chunlai (6th) and Chen Long (7th).
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) have set April 23 as the last day for teams to submit their entries by name for the Thomas Cup Finals.
And the only tournament that could influence a change in world rankings before the closing date is the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC), which will be held at New Delhi from April 12-18.
China certainly want Lin Dan back as their top ranked player and they have left out Chen Jin from their line-up for the ABC. The other Chinese in the fray are Chen Long and Du Pengyu. If Lin Dan wins the tournament, he is likely to move up three rungs to the world No. 2.
Misbun said that he would be quite surprised if Lin Dan failed to win the ABC title.
“China probably did not expect Lin Dan to drop to the second spot. That is why he is being sent for the ABC. They usually do not send him for Grand Prix Gold tournaments,” said Misbun.
“A win will likely help him to improve on his world ranking and become the number one for China again. The win could also be the right tonic for Lin Dan to rebuild on his confidence. He will go all out.”
Lin Dan has failed to live up to the favourite tag in two tournaments this year.
He lost to Chunlai in the All-England quarter-finals and went down to Denmark’s Peter-Gade Christensen at the same stage in the Swiss Open.
“Even if Lin Dan does not make it at the ABC, it does not really matter. Whether Lin Dan plays at first or second singles, China are still the team to beat in the Thomas Cup Finals,” said Misbun.
“Chong Wei’s challenge is to handle the pressure playing at home. After enjoying a great season thus far, it will not be easy to maintain it.”
Chong Wei has been on a roll since winning the Super Series Masters Finals in Johor Baru last December. He went on to win three consecutive Super Series tournaments – Korean Open, Malaysian Open and All-England.
The 28-year-old Chong Wei, who is back in training after enjoying a week’s break, said that he would not be too worried over his opponents from China.
“If Lin Dan wins at the ABC, he may be back as the Chinese No. 1. His world ranking points are quite close to Chen Jin. Anyway, I am not worried over who do I have to play against at first singles. I will focus on improving my game,” he said.
Chong Wei will not feature in the ABC and the men’s singles players in the Malaysian side are Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Kuan Beng Hong, Tan Chun Seang, Chong Wei Feng, Chan Kwong Beng and Lok Chong Chieh.

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