Sunday, August 05, 2012

Lin Dan v Dato Lee Chong Wei

Come on. Seriously. As much as we wanted him to win, I guess most people have forgotten that its Lin Dan that he was playing.

He is 87.8 winning percentage life time whenever he takes to the court. 

For the record, he's the only guy to win all 9 major titles in world badminton. And he did it when he was only 28. In all, he has been to major finals for 68 times and won 50 titles.

And with the gold medal in London, he is the first player to retain the gold medal.

Lin Dan was 22-9 v Lee Chong Wei lifetime. Make that 23. 

For all Chong Wei's injury problems, Lin Dan looked rusty too. In fact, Lin Dan's performance is sub par by his usual high standards.

But that's the difference between a championship player and a great player - they find ways to win even when they're not playing well.

No disrespect to Chong Wei, but while we gently weep away with the silver medal, lets spare some time to acknowledge a true great player and ambassador of the sport of badminton.

Playing through pain is one of the things EXPECTED of top athletes. Tuck has neck issues. Bradshaw has foot problem. Giants won the Superbowl. Hell, Mark Bavaro said every guy in the NFL, come championship time, play through pain! Jeremy Lin was 85% and in his Armani. New Yorkers got upset over that.

For all chong wei fans out there, give credit where credit is due. Take nothing away, Chong Wei is elite. But Lin Dan is LEGENDARY. And how do we know Lin Dan has no injuries?

As for pressure, Lin Dan was in an even bigger pressure cooker back in 2008, which the olympics were held in his home country. And especially after his girlfriend lost the women's singles final. He was flawless that night. It was a game of the highest quality but Lin Dan was on another gear that night.