Olympics: Lin Dan leaves Rio empty-handed as Denmark's Axelsen takes badminton bronze

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen celebrating after clinching the bronze medal over China's Lin Dan.
Denmark's Viktor Axelsen celebrating after clinching the bronze medal over China's Lin Dan.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Chinese superstar Lin Dan, regarded by some as badminton's greatest-ever player, left the Rio Games empty-handed on Saturday (Aug 20) after losing the men's singles bronze medal match to Viktor Axelsen.

The Danish 22-year-old came from behind to win 15-21, 21-10, 21-17, likely bringing the curtain down on the double Olympic champion's hallowed Games career.

Lin, who topped the podium at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, was unable to repeat those heroics in Brazil, falling to old rival Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in Friday's semi-final.

 

Saturday's third-place match was almost certainly the last time that Lin, who turns 33 later this year, would grace the Olympic stage.

Rio was the tattooed Lin's fourth Olympics and he is expected to have retired by the time Tokyo 2020 comes around.

Lin, nicknamed "Super Dan", is a five-time world champion.