'Super Dan' defends Asiad title in all-Chinese final

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 China's Lin Dan reacts after winning the gold medal against compatriot Chen Long yesterday in Incheon.

Badminton great Lin Dan said he wants to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, dismissing retirement plans after winning Asian Games men's singles gold yesterday in South Korea.

Asked how long he would keep competing, Lin at first said he did not know. But when pushed by reporters on whether he would defend his Olympic title in Rio in two years, Lin went one better, replying: "Tokyo."

He went on to confirm his ambition to play in Japan, when he would be 36-years-old.

"I feel very lucky to have won gold here today — I want to play more for my country and I'm looking ahead to the Tokyo Olympics," he went on.

Lin was in powerful form in Incheon, overcoming arch rival Lee Chong Wei in the semifinals before defeating 25-year-old teammate Chen Long 12-21, 21-16, 21-16 in the epic three-match final.

Even though world champion Chen is heir apparent to Lin's throne, he has still never beaten "Super Dan" who stands 7-0 in their head-to-head encounters.

Malaysian number one Lee who won bronze in the men's singles, was more cautious about his future plans, saying that he would prepare for Rio.

"I need a rest now because next year the Olympic points will start, and that's more important," said 31-year-old Lee.

In the mixed doubles final, China's world number ones Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei beat Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia to win the title 21-16 21-14.

Meanwhile, Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim took the Asian Games high jump gold with ease, but passed on a shot at the 21-year-old world record on a cold, wet night in South Korea.

The 23-year-old said he wanted to use the Asiad to take a shot at Cuban Javier Sotomayer's record of 2.45 meters after jumping 2.43m in the Diamond League earlier this month.

But after two failed attempts at 2.40m, with gold already safe, Barshim decided enough was enough and celebrated defending the Asian Games title he won in 2010.

China's Zhang Guowei could not find the spring to match the 2.35 that Barshim had cleared and settled for silver.

To add to the joy in the Barshim household, bronze went to the Qatari's younger brother Muamer, later seen sporting a cap with the slogan "What gravity, huh?"

There was more gold for the Gulf state as Mohamad Al-Garni delivered on his promise to add the men's 1,500 to the 5,000 title he won on Saturday, outpacing Bahrain's former world champion Rashid Ramzi in an exhilarating sprint over the last 200 meters.

After crossing the line in three minutes 40.23 seconds, Al-Garni turned and embraced fellow Moroccan-born runner Ramzi, who was stripped of the gold he won at the 2008 Olympics and banned for two years after testing positive for banned blood booster EPO-CERA.

Al-Garni said he had skipped races in Europe to focus on the Asiad and now aimed to run under 3:30 -- four seconds below his current best — in readiness for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Sadly even the prospect of seeing Barshim take a shot at the world record was not enough to entice supporters and the vast grey stands of the new 62,000-seater Asiad Main Stadium were again largely empty for the third day of athletics competition.

There was a Bahraini one-two in the women's 1,500 as Olympic bronze medalist Maryam Yusuf Jamal added another gold medal to her collection.

The 30-year-old two-time world champion, who now has three Asian Games golds in the 1,500 and one in the 800, admitted she had to dig deep to beat teammate Mimi Belete.

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