Guangzhou: China's Lin Dan defended his men's singles title after Malaysian World No.1 Lee Chong Wei retired in the final of the World Badminton Championships at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium here Sunday.
The top seed retired with muscle cramps when Lin Dan was leading at match point 16-21, 21-13, 20-17. It was the longest match of the day which lasted one hour and 34 minutes. Lee Chong Wei for the second consecutive time had to settle for a silver, having lost the 2011 final also to "Super Dan".
The two greats set up the summit meet nearly an year after their classic showdown at the 2012 London Olympics that was also won by the the Chinese legend won. In London, Lin Dan also became the first player in history to successfully defend his title. With the title, Lin Dan becomes the most successful and decorated player in the history of the sport with five championship titles in the same category.
At home, Lin Dan looked it fine shape despite entering the tournament as a wild card. His rankings slipped to 286 since he played just one event, Badminton Asia Championships, since winning the gold in London. On the basis of his rankings, it was impossible for him to enter the World Championships. But the organisers granted him wild card.
The Malaysian top seed failed to break the jinx of straight losses against Lin Dan, who beat him in the last two Olympic finals and also in the previous World Championship title clash. Lin Dan now leads their head-to-head 22-9.
Lee Chong Wei had to be escorted to the hospital after cramping up and skipped the medal ceremony to take his second silver. The bronze medals went to China's Pengyu Du and Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen.