Lin Dan knocked out of 2018 BWF World Championships

Xinhua
"I was not in my best form and made too many unforced errors," Lin said, summarizing the reasons for his defeat.
Xinhua

There were mixed feelings for Chinese badminton fans on Thursday as their talisman Lin Dan was knocked out of the 2018 BWF World Championships following a 21-15, 21-9 defeat to compatriot Shi Yuqi in the round of 16.

"I was not in my best form and made too many unforced errors," Lin said, summarizing the reasons for his defeat.

Although advanced in years for a professional shuttler, Lin was still sharp with his strikes, triggering sporadic bouts of cheers and applause from the audience. Shi also demonstrated the energy of the younger generation with his powerful smashes, and the world no.3 was better in mobilizing his opponent, forcing Lin this way and that and harvesting points when the 34-year-old could not cover the court.

It took the young star 45 minutes to see out a match that he dominated as he now faces a quarterfinal tie against Chinese Taipei's Zhou Tien Chen.

"I think patience is the key," Shi said afterwards. "Although age is definitely a factor, I have played at my highest level today and that's my way of paying my respects to Lin Dan."

Following his defeat, Lin would not be drawn on whether the time was ripe for the younger generation to assume his mantle.

"I have no hard feelings on this. It's been the same old question ever since I played Chen Long in the World Championships in 2013. This actually makes me feel proud. Although I lost the match today, I'll discuss with my team to see what I could learn from it and hopefully improve my world rankings in the following tournaments this year," said Lin.

One piece of good news for fans of Lin is that the former world no.1 confirmed that this would not be his final appearance at the World Championships.

"This is my 11th World Championships and I will continue to fight as long as I still have capability and time," the legendary shuttler said.


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