Badminton Life

Lin Plays Down Temperamental Reputation

Controversial world number one Lin Dan is determined to let his racket do the talking when he goes for gold at the Beijing Olympics next month.

The Chinese ace's on-court skills have this year been overshadowed by some off-court antics and temper tantrums.

In addition, defeats in the All England final and Thomas Cup semi-final against Malaysia's Lee Chong We have raised questions about his ability to justify his number one seeding at the Beijing Games.

However, the left-hander, who went on to win the Thomas Cup with China, said he won't let the negative press affect his preparations for Beijing.

"Because it is an Olympic year, there have been some verbal attacks on me and the Chinese team, but that is normal," he said in an agency report.

"I just try to downplay them and ignore them. I don't take it personally. A lot of it is the media playing it up."

Lin has been the top-ranked player in the world for the past 22 months and, despite some hiccups this season, is still the big favourite to take gold in front of his home fans at the Olympics.

He has won 13 major singles titles in the past two years, including two straight world championship crowns, and his supreme confidence and sublime skills has won him plenty of fans back home and plenty of disgruntled rivals on the court.

Lin is also involved in a romance with the women's world number one Xie Xingfang, with the pair earning the moniker of badminton's golden couple.

His temper has also made him infamous. It flared up in January as he lost to local player Lee Hyun-il in the final of the Korean Open.

Lin had a bust-up with Lee's coach during the match after accusing line judges of favouring the home player.

In April, he blew up at a coach during a Chinese team training session, though he denied reports that he struck the coach.

Then there were his famous losses, the first to Lee and then to compatriot Chen Jin in the men's singles final of the All England championship.

He was also beaten by world number two Lee in the Thomas Cup semi-finals, though China went on to win that match 3-2 before beating South Korea 3-1 in the final.

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