INCHEON: Badminton world number one Lee Chong Wei may have to finally find a way past his Chinese nemesis Lin Dan as he makes his last bid for Asian Games gold.
Fans are eager for another classic showdown between Malaysia’s Lee and superstar Lin at Incheon’s futuristic Gyeyang arena, which will host 10 days of play from Saturday.
Defending champion Lin beat Lee on home turf in Guangzhou to take singles gold at the 2010 Asian Games, and has repeatedly denied him in world and Olympic finals.
Both are likely to compete in the men’s team event before campaigning for the singles title — with Lee admitting this will be his last chance for Asiad gold before retiring.
Tanned and tattooed Olympic champion Lin, 30, is ranked 15th as he picks and chooses his competitions these days — usually managing a stellar performance when required.
In contrast Lee, 31, consistently ranks first in the world but has been found wanting in high-pressure matches on the big stage.
And it’s not just Lin that the Malaysian has to worry about, after he was beaten by China’s 25-year-old Chen Long at last month’s world championships final.
Long is also in the Chinese squad at Incheon, another potential hurdle for the taciturn Lee as he tries to end his Asian Games career on a high.
“For me, the Asian Games is important because this one will be my last. The next one is in four years, so I don’t think I will be around. I hope to play well and enjoy it,” he told reporters.