LCW v Lin Dan - Round 2

Lin Dan and Chen Jin - Olympics Day 9 - BadmintonRemember this picture?

It was back the podium winners of the 2008 Beijing Olympics which saw the likes of China's Lin Dan taking on our national shuttler Lee Chong Wei in the final.

A more muscular Lin Dan had then tamed Chong Wei easily to win the gold medal on home soil. It was a match that stunned many and left Chong Wei in disbelief. Chong Wei lost 21-12, 21-8 in that match.

Despite the defeat, Chong Wei returned as a hero and received a Datuk-ship. He then revealed his thoughts of the defeat on Astro Supersport as seen here and here.

The national shuttlers have enjoyed podium finishes at the previous Summer Games. First introduced at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Razip and Jalani Sidek netted the bronze medal in that edition while younger brother Rashid Sidek also managed the bronze medal at the Atlanta Games four years later.

It was also at the Atlanta Games that saw Yap Kim Hock and Cheah Soon Kit win the silver medal, a feat achieved by Chong Wei 12 years later.

Later this evening, a rematch will take place at the London edition. At 7.55pm, Malaysians - either watching from the live viewing at Laundry, The Curve or from the comfort of their homes - will witness Chong Wei try to turn the tables against his good friend Lin Dan.

Chong Wei had a rather rough journey months prior the Olympics. From an ankle injury to family issues, Chong Wei braved it through as critics firmly believed the nation's hope of netting its first gold medal no longer exists.

Today, the same critics are singing praises exclaiming they have always had their faith in the Perak born Penang bred Chong Wei.

Some have made Chong Wei's journey into the final political - as what transpired when Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong won the All-England championships and were later paraded during the Ijok by-election.

The same also happened when Chong Wei was awarded the Datuk-ship and certain quarters - not wanting to feel left out - quickly awarded Chong Wei's then coach Misbun a similar title.

Politics aside, if Chong Wei wins today he will earn millions and reveal his wedding plans as promised.

However, there are those who remain sceptical - insisting Lin Dan has always been the better player at the world stage. And to win two gold medals back to back is priceless - something Lin Dan would surely want to achieve.

Winning the gold medal would also squash the bad image that the been painted on China's badminton camp after their top women's doubles pair was smashed out from the tournament by the Badminton World Federation for "throwing their matches" as seen in an earlier posting here.

But Chong Wei deserves the win. He has dominated the world ranking for years up until recently. He has been consistent and despite the setback, he managed to book a spot in the final, although some may argue his path to the final has not been really "challenging".

We are indeed a young nation that will turn 55 by the end of the month but we are hungry of winning the Olympic gold medal, a medal that remains absent among the very many titles and trophies Chong Wei has collected. There is also the nagging thought that 2012 is the year to nail the gold for we may have to wait for another decade or two to unearth another hopeful.

Here's hoping for an exciting encounter in the final tonight. Let's imagine Chong Wei ending the match by going down on his knees screaming for joy, kissing the Malaysian flag on his shirt with tears in his eyes as the nation goes into a frenzy.

More importantly - sport, or rather the game of badminton, has unite us least for today.

Pic from

HD says: Go all the Wei!


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