Jan O Jorgensen to face Lee Chong Wei after Lin Dan upset at World Badminton Championship

Jan O. Jorgensen shattered Lin Dan`s dreams of a sixth world crown on Friday, defeating the Chinese badminton legend and booking a semi-final showdown against Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei in Jakarta.

AFP| Updated: Aug 14, 2015, 20:37 PM IST
Jan O Jorgensen  to face Lee Chong Wei after Lin Dan upset at World Badminton Championship

Jakarta: Jan O. Jorgensen shattered Lin Dan`s dreams of a sixth world crown on Friday, defeating the Chinese badminton legend and booking a semi-final showdown against Malaysian superstar Lee Chong Wei in Jakarta.

The Danish shuttler overpowered Lin 21-12, 21-15, just the third time in his career he`s beaten the two-time Olympic champion considered by many one of the true greats of the sport.

It was an emotional victory for Jorgensen, who was forced to withdraw from the world championships on home soil in Copenhagen last year despite being a real medal contender.

The second-seed wiped tears from his eyes as he recalled the training and sacrifice he`d poured into preparing for this year`s world championships.

"Now here I am, playing some of the best badminton I`ve done ever," the 27-year-old told reporters.

Jorgensen had one of the toughest draws in the men`s singles, and many did not expect him to emerge triumphant from his tete-a-tete with Lin.

But the fifth-seeded Chinese star never found his rhythm against Jorgensen, blaming everything from his physical condition to crowd noise for his poor showing.

Badminton fans had been pining for a semi-final bout between Lin and Lee, arch-rivals who for years have provided some of the most explosive contests on the court.

Lin, who has deprived Lee of gold medals not just at the world championships but the Olympics, expressed regret the old foes wouldn`t clash again in Jakarta.

"I`m quite disappointed I can`t meet Lee Chong Wei," he said via a translator.

"But I have to accept the result, because I didn`t so very well today."

Lee has returned from an eight-month doping ban guns blazing, convincing many his gold-medal drought at the world championships could come to an end in Jakarta.

He brushed aside 13th seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-12, 21-18 on Friday, his third high-profile scalp in as many days.

Jorgensen acknowledged the formidable task awaiting him Saturday, saying Lee was "more hungry than ever to show he is the best".

"In my book he needs to have a gold, I just hope it`s not this time," he said.

Chen Long fought off a stubborn Viktor Axelsen to win 21-18, 30-29, with the plucky Dane pushing the top seed to the limit in an epic quarter-final that lasted more than hour.

It`s not the first time the 21-year-old Dane has punched above his weight against the Chinese champion, and Chen was prepared for the worst when Axelsen went on the offensive in the second game.

"I was starting to prepare for the third game, but luckily I got it," Chen told reporters via a translator.

Chen progresses to the semi-finals where he will face fourth seed Kento Momota, who dispatched Hong Kong`s Wei Nan 21-6, 21-14.

The 20-year-old Momota, who won the Indonesian Open in June, said he was hoping to face Axelsen but is determined to do his best against the defending champion.

"Chen Long is the number one seed, so I hope to prove myself against him," the Japanese star said through a translator.

In the women`s singles, world number one Carolina Marin appeared at her most confident as she charged past her toughest opponent yet, seventh seed Wang Shixian of China, 21-17, 21-19.

She will face Korean Sung Ji-Hyun after the ninth-seed beat India`s P.V. Sindhu 21-17, 19-21, 21-16.

Sindhu`s compatriot Saina Newhwal emerged triumphant over Wang Yihan of China in marathon 72-minute contest, while Indonesia`s Lindaweni Fanetri clawed back to defeat fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan before a roaring home crowd.

Unseeded Japanese pair Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao, who dismissed the second-ranked Chinese pair on Thursday, continued their rampage in the women`s doubles with a 25-23, 21-14 win over 13th seeded Indian pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.

In a rematch of last year`s final, defending champions Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei beat their Chinese compatriots Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, ending Yu`s hopes of becoming the first player in history to win four women`s doubles gold medals.

The semi-finals get underway in Jakarta on Saturday.