KUALA LUMPUR: Five-time world champion Lin Dan of China has announced his intention to resume training at the national centre - sparking talk of his long-awaited comeback to the international scene.
If all goes well, Lin Dan, who is currently ranked 103rd in the world, may see action in either the German Open or All England qualifying tournaments. The German Open is from Feb 26-March 2 and the All England is from March 4-9.
If he fails to make the cut for these two tournaments, there is a big probability he will feature in the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold from March 11-16.
The news of his return made headlines in China over the past few days - just as the nation prepared to usher in the New Year.
Lin Dan has been missing from the scene since crushing Lee Chong Wei’s hopes of becoming the first world champion from Malaysia in the men’s singles final of the World Championships in Guanghzhou in August.
His return is expected to spice up the men’s singles competition and heighten the rivalry with his old foe Chong Wei.
With Lin Dan returning to the international scene, there could be a possibility of the two great players crossing swords again at the World Championships in Copenhagen this August.
The qualifiers for the world meet will be determined in batches by June and that should give Lin Dan some time to improve on his world ranking. If he fails to make the cut, there is a possibility that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) might give him a wild card.
This is what they did last year for the world championships in Guangzhou even though Lin Dan had not competed for almost a year.
It is also learnt that China badly wants Lin Dan back in the scene because currently only Chen Long has been delivering the goods in the men’s singles. Two others - world No. 7 Du Pengyu and world No 9. Wang Zhengming - are somewhat struggling.