Badminton Life

Lin Eyes Top Prize in Season Finale

Despite missing three months of the season because of his post-Olympic celebrations, Lin Dan has a chance to finish the season on a high.

Lin, the world number two, won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in August, beating Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the final.

He then disappeared from the scene to celebrate and recover from his efforts, which threatened his ability to qualify for the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu next week.

However, some powerful performances since his return, including victory at the China Open, helped Lin to sixth place in the final points standings, enabling him to qualify as one of the top eight for the Finals.

This was despite playing in only five of the 12 Super Series events this season.

Lin's presence means it will be even more difficult for Lee to win the title. Lee succeeded Lin as world number one soon after the Olympics.

However, since then he has failed to win a tournament. In fact, in his three stints as world number one the Malaysian has yet to justify his seeding with a major tournament victory.

And with Lin's presence in Sabah, Lee's chances have diminished even more.

The draw for the tournament is to be held on December 16. The eight players will be divided into two groups of four.

After a round-robin competition, the top two players will advance to the semi-finals.

Lin also reached the final of the Hong Kong Open and if he continues his form, he is likely to win back the world number one spot from Lee by early next year.

The popular Chinese star is confident he can still be on top of the world for at least the next year.

He was quoted as saying in media reports: "A lot of people say that I have reached the peak of my career after winning the Olympic Games.

"Since Athens 2004, I have been maintaining a consistent level of performances. If I can consolidate my performance this year and the next, that will be wonderful."

Certainly, if his performances over the past two tournaments are anything to go by, Lin is well on the way to achieving his ambitions.

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