Lee and Lin to collide for the 39th time

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei set up a last-four meeting with his arch-rival Lin Dan of China after both players won their quarter-final clashes at the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China, yesterday.

Lee, who is gunning to retain his title, defeated Hsu Jen-hao 21-18, 21-13 while Lin also beat a player from Chinese Taipei , the seventh seed Chou Tien-chen 21-14, 21-12 at the Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium.

The duo have met 38 times, with their last encounter coming at the Malaysia Open in Kuching earlier this month, when Lin won 21-19, 21-14.

Lee, 34, said he cherished each match against Lin, 33, because, with both ageing, they will not have so many encounters in the coming years.

"Not only Lin and me, I believe all the fans and media around the world will focus on our rivalry. I will make full preparation for tomorrow's match," he said.

Earlier yesterday, he was named the top seed for August's world championships in Glasgow, with Denmark's Viktor Axelsen second.

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei returns a shot during his 21-18, 21-13 victory over Hsu Jen-hao of Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia C'ships The Malaysian trailed 0-5 in the opening game but was otherwise untroubled in the 43-minute encounter. PHOTO: XINHUA

China's defending men's singles champion Chen Long did not earn automatic qualification for the tournament as he is ranked ninth in the latest world rankings.

A member association can field four players if they are ranked in the top eight, three players if they are ranked in the top 24 or two if they are ranked in the top 150.

China has three players above Chen in the latest rankings - Shi Yuqi (No. 5), Tian Houwei (No. 7) and Lin Dan (No. 8).

However, the choice of entries is up to the respective associations and Chen can secure his place if he is chosen by the Chinese Badminton Association over one of his three higher ranked compatriots.

In today's other men's singles semi-final at the Badminton Asia Championships, Shi, who beat South Korea's Son Wan Ho 21-16, 21-15[/3][/6], will meet Chen, who prevailed over Hong Kong's Angus Ng 21-17, 21-13[/8][/2].

In the women's singles quarter-finals yesterday, second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan beat Thai sixth seed Ratchanok Intanon 21-16, 21-19[/6][/2], while top seed Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei beat China's unseeded Chen Yufei 21-11, 21-7[/1].

In later matches, South Korea's Lee Jang Mi beat Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol 21-19, 21-9 and eighth seed He Bingjiao of China upset India's fourth seed P. V. Sindhu 15-21, 21-14, 24-22[/4][/8].


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Lee and Lin to collide for the 39th time'. Print Edition | Subscribe