Lin Dan of China waves to the crowd after winning his men's semi final match against Chen Jin of China who pulled out midmatch due to an injury during The Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, central England, March 7, 2009. [Xinhua/AFP Photo]
China's Lin Dan is looking to repeat his Olympic glory after an easy win over teammate Chen Jin Saturday sent him through into the All England men's singles final.
It only took Lin half an hour to set up an eagerly-anticipated repeat encounter against Beijing finalist Lee Chong Wei as Chen was forced to retire with a back strain when trailing 21-12 11-6.
Lee has already created a history of his own by advancing into his first-ever final in Birmingham after a surprisingly one-sided victory over former world and Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia.
China's Lin Dan, returns a shot during his men's semi final match against Chen Jin of China who pulled out midmatch due to an injury during The Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, central England, March 7, 2009. [Xinhua/AFP Photo]
The Malaysia's top seed beat Hidayat 21-8 and 21-13 in straight sets, shattering the Indonesian ace's dream of adding the coveted title into his collection.
"Everybody wants to see us meet in a repeat of Olympic final," said Lee, "it's going to be a tough game for sure."
The world number one claimed that Lin is a better player.
"My world ranking is higher than his (No.2), but you can't judge a player all upon his ranking. I think he's better than me. He's got very much all-around techniques and all I can do when facing him is to play my best instead of trying to take advantage of his mistakes," Lee said.
But Lin predicted they would have even chance in Sunday's final.
"We played many times and the results were quite balanced between us. It's just I happened to win an Olympics. Tomorrow won't be easy for either side," Lin said.
Women's singles reigning champion Tine Rasmussen staged one of the greatest comeback in this tournament.
The top seed from Denmark rallied from a game down and 14-4 and17-9 down in the second against China's Jiang Yanjiao to reach the final with a 22-24 25-23 21-15 win.
At 130 points it was the most points played in a match so far at this year's Championship.
Rasmussen will have to beat All England freshman Wang Yihan fora hat-trick of Super Series titles. The 21-year-old Chinese built on a quarterfinal win over former world No. 1 Xie Xingfang to beat Denmark's Nanna Brosolat Jensen 21-11 21-7 to prevent an all-Danish final.
The men's doubles final will feature No. 7 seeds Cai Yun and FuHaifeng of China against South Korea's dark-horse pair Han Sang Hoon and Hwang Ji Man, who are ranked 160 in the world.
Chinese have secured a gold and a silver of women's double anyway as they will be decided between Zhang Yawen/Zhao Tingting, who stunned Olympic champions Du Jing/Yu Yang 16-21 21-16 21-16, and Cheng Shu/Zhao Yunlei, beating South Korea's fifth seeds Ha Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung.
China are chasing all five titles with third seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang taking on Ko Sung Hyun and Ha Jung Eun of South Korea in the mixed doubles final.
(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2009)