Last year on Aug 5, Lin Dan of China crushed the hopes of Lee Chong Wei in the final of the London Olympic Games.
Yesterday, on the exact same date, Lin Dan began his quest for his fifth world crown in the World Championships in blistering fashion by packing off Sattawat Pongnairat of United States with a 21-6, 21-9 win in 27 minutes.
When asked whether he remembered the date, the unseeded Lin Dan replied in a jest: “No, I do not remember it, you mean one year has passed by so quickly.”
Earlier, after the brilliant start against an unheralded player, he was in a mood to speak up for the lesser known players.
“All players should have a career in badminton. The focus is so much on the champions – the other players deserve the attention too,” he said.
“I hope the national associations will protect all their players – champions and non-champions. It will motivate all to play better and better.”
His ruthless win over Pongnairat also won special praise from his wife Xie Xingfang, who is incidentally a broadcast journalist with CCTV – local Chinese broadcast station. She said that it was only a practice match for Lin Dan – indicating that the two-time Olympic champion could offer more.
“I hope my wife will continue to have good words for her husband. She knows that I am very focused on badminton,” said Lin Dan, who added that they seldom speak about badminton when they are out of the badminton court.
Lin Dan will next take on Holland’s Eric Pang, who got a free ride to the second round following the walkover of Kenichi Tago of Japan.