Unmatched genius and an enigmatic personality to the core, Chinese superstar Lin Dan has taken the international badminton by storm despite coming back after a year’s break leaving his rival shuttlers here at the Thomas Cup in awe of the maverick who goes by the nickname ‘Super Dan’
Two-time Olympic champion, five-time world champion and a five-time All England champion, the 30-year-old Dan is unsurprisingly considered the greatest badminton player of all time.
The former world number one, who is also well-known for his mercurial temper, is a cult figure in his country and has legions of fans all over the world for his remarkable range of strokes and the ability to go from offensive to defensive to offensive again in a matter of minutes.
And the left-hander’s magic has enchanted all at the ongoing Thomas Cup as well. Whether it is the Indian shuttlers or their international counterparts, the buzz at the court is just how has ‘Super Dan’ managed to be so consistently good for so long.
“It is kind of mystery how he comes back and wins. He has not been playing for a year and it is kind of cool to go on winning after a break,” said Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark.
“I know he has been practising, you can see it by the way he is playing. He has been doing a lot of hard work and he is still hungry to do well, win some tournaments and I am looking forward to play him sometime,” he added.
The world no. three Danish shuttler also said Dan is the one player against whom everybody wants to compete as it gives a measure of where they stand!
“He (Dan) is one of the best players in the world and you want to play and compete with him and compare with him and see where you are, this is what you play for, to compete against the best players,” Jorgensen reasoned.
Called ‘Super Dan’ for his effortless game, the temperamental side to his personality makes him the enigma which draws followers worldwide.
“He is definitely a genius. Shuttlers can’t think of doing what Lin Dan did. He actually took a break for a year after 2012 (London) Olympics and then came back to the circuit and won the world Championship in 2013. It is great. I don’t think anyone can do that,” said India’s K Srikanth.
Marc Zwiebler of Germany described Dan as an outstanding player.
“The fact that he has returned to the court is great for badminton. It speaks volume about him. There are a lot of players who are great but Lin Dan is simply outstanding,” said Zwiebler.
“Players must take inspiration from him,” he added.
After his World Championship title last year in Guangzhou, Lin Dan again took a seven-month break before returning to claim the China Masters title, before winning the Asian Badminton Championships last month.
He is currently representing China at the ongoing Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, and playing the third singles because of his 58th ranking.
“I am happy that he is back in the circuit. I hope he continues to play and inspire others,” said Parupalli Kashyap.