Two-time Olympic Champion Lin Dan stunned in opening round of Malaysia Masters
Lin Dan suffered nine opening-round exits in a hugely disappointing 2019. Alas, the new year didn't get any better for him as the two-time Olympic Champion fell at the first hurdle of the Malaysian Masters.
Lin could do nothing about Jan O Jorgensen's spectacular shots throughout the thrilling encounter on Wednesday as the former world No. 2 demonstrated incredible composure and stormed into the second round with a 21-19, 21-18 victory.
It was a telling blow for the Chinese veteran who won the single's crown at the same tournament last year and still harbors ambitions of claiming a third Olympic badminton title in Tokyo this summer.
"Qualifying to the Tokyo Olympics is my biggest challenge; I will continue to do my best and try to get better results out of competitions," Lin told Badminton World Federation.
Next up for the 36-year-old is Indonesia Masters which starts on January 13. Another dismal performance would surely further diminish Lin's slim hopes of a revival. Time is running out.
In contrast, Lin's compatriot Chen Long held his nerve to outclass Son Wan-ho of South Korea 21-16, 21-14. Shi Yuqi moved past Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei 21-12, 22-20, and Lu Guangzu overwhelmed Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-11, 18-21, 21-16.
Meanwhile, Indonesian star Anthony Sinisuka Ginting also suffered an early exit as he lost to Huang Yuxiang 21-16, 22-20.
In the women's singles, Chen Yufei swept past a pesky Line Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 21-12, 20-22, 21-12., while China's world No. 1 Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong also emerged triumphant in the mixed doubles after thrashing India's Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy Nelakurthi 21-10, 21-10.
In the men's doubles Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong came from behind to edge out Germany's Jones Ralfy Jansen/Peter Kaesbauer 15-21, 22-20, 21-14.