Rio : Chen Long beat Malaysian Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles final to grab China’s second gold but the departure of Lin Dan is perhaps the biggest threat to Chinese dominance.
The double Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion, nicknamed “Super Dan”, was beaten by Lee in the last-four before losing his bronze medal match to Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. Lin towered over the sport for at least a decade but at 32, Rio was all but certainly his last Games and it was not the end to a glorious career that he would have wanted.
Chen is only 27 but was taken to three games by future star Axelsen, who at 22 could be favourite for a gold medal at Tokyo in four years’ time. With Zhao, who turns 30 shortly, also expected to announce her retirement soon, and Fu aged 32, China needs a new generation of younger players if it’s to keep its grip tightly on Olympic gold medals. (AFP)
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