Lin Dan wins after rival retires injured
CHINESE superstar Lin Dan took the badminton world title for a fifth time yesterday after his arch rival Lee Chong Wei was stretchered off the court in the third game.
The current world No. 1 from Malaysia dropped to his haunches at 16-19 down and tried to recover, but had to retire from the match at 20-17 - leaving Lin, who is world and Olympic champion, to take the title 16-21, 21-13, 20-17.
Lee had been hoping to end a run of high-profile defeats at the hands of Lin - widely regarded as the game's best player - who beat him in the previous world title men's singles final and in the last two Olympic finals.
Lin, 29, known as "Super Dan", was making his comeback at the tournament with a controversial wildcard place after a year on the sidelines to spend time with his family.
The two badminton legends put on a brilliant display in the first set in front of a packed Tianhe gymnasium in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
The battle ended after Lee, 30, crouched down on his haunches twice in the third game.
His legs were sprayed by a doctor called onto the court, and he won the next point with lightning returns before dropping to the floor again in the middle of the next point.
The crowd shouted his name in encouragement and Lin went over to his opponent's side of the court to speak to him. But the umpire announced that the Malaysian was retiring injured at 20-17, leaving a shirtless Lin to celebrate while Lee was stretchered off.
Meanwhile, Thai teenager Ratchanok Intanon took the women's singles title, beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in a massive upset.
Ratchanok, 18, becomes the first Thai player to win gold at the world championships after defeating 22-year-old top seed Li, who was gunning for her first world title.