Badminton superstar Lin Dan out of Japan Open

Tokyo: World badminton champion Lin Dan withdrew from the Japan Open on Saturday with an injured left foot, giving his teammate Chen Long a free ticket to the men`s singles final.

The Chinese second seed, the sport`s biggest name and the winner in Tokyo in 2004 and 2005, said the skin on his left foot came off after a tough match against another teammate, Chen Jin, in the quarter-finals on Friday.

"I was disappointed that I could not continue playing, but we have more tournaments for the race for the London Olympics, so I don`t want to take a risk now," said Lin.

"This is not the only event that counts towards the Olympics. The race continues until May next year. I`m going to play solidly in each tournament. I promise that I will come back next year in better form," he added.

In the women`s singles, Juliane Schenk defeated Indian star Saina Nehwal to set up a final against world champion Wang Yihan of China.

The German eighth seed, who eliminated All England champion Wang Shixian of China in the quarter-finals, gained another major scalp with a 21-19, 21-10 victory over the fourth seed.

Wang Yihan was given a walkover into the final as fellow Chinese Liu Xin withdrew with a left leg injury.

For Schenk, 28, it will be her first final in the Super Series.

"I`m quite happy with my performance today. It`s perfect for me to get into my first Super Series final," said Schenk, who gained momentum after taking the close first game.

"Saina is a very powerful player. She was trying to play a lot of attacking shots and trying to put pressure with those things. I tried just to speed up and move her around four corners."

About the final against Wang Yihan, the German said: "Like all the other matches, I would like to enjoy playing my best and showing the spectators a big entertainment. I hope I can continue like this."

Bureau Report

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