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'Super Dan' crowned with overwhelming victory

updated: 2008-08-18

BEIJING - Lin Dan, the top seed in men's singles at the Beijing Olympic badminton tournament eased past world No. 2 Lee Chong-wei from Malaysia 21-12, 21-8 here on Sunday to grab the most eye-catching singles gold.

The match which was anticipated to be the highest-level encounter between the world top two shuttlers has been totally unbalanced in favor of Lin Dan, nicknamed Super Dan for his great achievements in badminton history, after the score was tied 1-1 in the first game.

Lee Chong-wei apparently was crushed by the enormous pressure on him, made lots of unforced erros, and finally conceded the victory to Lin Dan at an awkward score.

After the victory, Super Dan threw his racket and shoes in ecstacy to the enthusiastic crowd, gestured a military salute to the four corners of the whole stadium, and flied a kiss to Xie Xingfang, his girlfriend and the women's singles silverist in Beijing cheering for him on the stand.

"The victory means so much to me, I feel extremely happy today, "said the 24-year-old, who holds the No. 1 title for almost five years, only temporarily interrupted by Lee Chong-wei in 2006.

"In the past four years, I had suffered lots of pressure," said the famous, but controversial figure among Chinese athletes, who was kicked out by Ronald Susilo from Singapore at his debut at Athens Olympics. "I hope it the future, I could play badminton for fun."

The Malaysian hopeful, apparently distressed by the shameful loss, admitted that he was surpassed in all aspects by Lin Dan in this match, especially in speed.

"I could hardly follow his fast speed and variation of rhythm," said the 25-year-old.