Super Dan leads PLA to win its first-ever bronze at National Games
Updated: 2013-09-06 17:44
JINZHOU, China - Badminton superstar Lin Dan led the People's Liberation Army (PLA) team to claim their first-ever men's team bronze at the Chinese National Games here on Thursday.
The PLA eventually beat Beijing 3-2 in a marathon battle which lasted more than five hours.
"I really want to (save energy to) perform well in later's singles event, but there are lots of young players in our team pinning their hopes on my shoulder, so I must spare no effort to win the match in the team event," said Lin before the match.
Lin, dubbed "Super Dan" among his fans, was made to sweat before he came through world No. 3 Du Pengyu 21-12, 21-15, scoring the first point for the PLA in the bronze-medal match.
"We entered the top four for the first time, to me, the team's result makes me even more proud than taking the title of singles," said Lin after the match. He will later compete in the singles event, in which he was crowned in the 2005 and 2009 editions of the Games.
"I hope my teammates could build on this momentum afterwards to take the bronze," added Lin.
Beijing immediately leveled back in the next match as London Olympic mixed doubles champion Zhang Nan and his partner Chen Zhiben sailed past the PLA's Li Jie and Luo Cheng 21-15, 21-17.
Teenager Zhou Yujie from the PLA withstood the pressure in the third game, outclassing young player Huang Guoxing 21-19, 21-11 to regain a 2-1 lead for the PLA.
However, Beijing Olympic mixed doubles gold medalist He Hanbin and his partner Xiong Shuai failed to secure the victory for the PLA as they lost to Beijing' s Liu Yuchen and Yu Xiaoyu 21-16, 21-19.
In the fifth game, the PLA's Wu Xin put out a fight against Beijing' s veteran Lv Yi before taking the victory with a rarely-seen score of 13-21, 21-13, 30-29.