Badminton Life

Chen Shocks Injured Lin in Final

It was no surprise to see two Chinese players in the All England men's singles final in Birmingham, England. What was surprising was that world number one and defending champion Lin Dan did not emerge as the winner.

Lin, seeking his third straight title and fourth overall, was beaten 22-20, 25-23 in a thrilling final by his fourth-seeded compatriot Chen Jin, although he admitted afterwards that he was slowed down by a knee injury.

Despite an easy path to the final, Lin was unable to find his best form in the final as Chen, who had a 0-6 record against Lin before the match, won the crucial points to win the prestigious men's singles title.

The 22-year-old Chen said he was finally able to put his training form into an actual match. And the fact that it was an All England final made it all the more sweeter.

"I am very, very happy. I have never beaten him in a tournament but I have beaten him in training and I knew if I played my best today I would have a chance," Chen said after the final.

The focus of journalists' questions, however, was on Lin and how the defeat would affect his mental state and preparations for the Olympics in Beijing.

Lin said that the pain was so bad he considered stopping in the second game.

"I thought about pulling out in the second game but I did not want to disappoint the crowd. It stopped me smashing properly," said Lin.

"It's an old injury which flared up this morning. I am disappointed for myself but pleased for Chen Jin. It's a big success for him."

Lin had his knee heavily strapped when he took the court and battled his way to an 18-16 lead in the first game.

Chen, realising that this could be his big chance for glory, fought back and managed to take the first game 22-20.

Chen had the better of Lin in the second game but was never totally in the clear as the match went to 20-20. Lin saved three match points before taking a 23-22 lead to give himself a chance of salvaging the match.

However, Chen was not to be denied. He won the next three points to end Lin's cause and win his first All England title.

Lin had earlier beaten Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the semi-finals. Lee, himself, had earlier knocked out Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat, the Olympic champion who was desperate to win the All England title.

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