Basel, Switzerland: China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long, who won a total of three Olympic champions and seven world titles between them, both advanced to the second round of the World Championships here. Lin fought back from one set down to beat Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 16-21, 21-12, 21-12 while the reigning Olympic champion Chen defeated Russia’s Vladimir Malkov 21-14, 21-17 on Monday.
Lin, nicknamed Super Dan by his fans, took one hour and 18 minutes to beat the 36-year-old Nguyen, whose best feat in his career is a third-place finish at the 2013 worlds.
“He played brilliantly,” said Lin, who also turns 36 in two months. “That brilliance could have helped him to beat anybody. I played him many times but this is the most difficult one.” Lin, who won his first world title in 2006, said he changed his tactics and those adjustment proved successful. “Actually I always know that he is one of the best players in the world so I made full preparation for this match.”
Competing in his 12th World Championships, Lin will on Tuesday morning take on H.S. Prannoy of India.
The third-seeded Chen, who won the world title in 2014 and 2015, fought off a hard challenge from Malkov in the second set, in which he trailed 12-14, but managed to regain the momentum for a 21-14, 21-17 victory in 58 minutes. The 30-year-old will face Lee Cheuk Yiu of Hong Kong, China, who defeated another Chinese player Huang Yuxiang 21-13, 21-14. “I was a little bit nervous,” said Chen, who is competing in his seventh world championships.
“This is the first match and he has been playing very well this season. But I have been well-prepared and did pretty well at the crucial moment.” His compatriot Lu Guangzu beat Germany’s Kai Schaefer 21-12, 21-16. Defending champion and world number one Kento Momota of Japan breezed past Pham Cao Cuong of Vietnam 21-19, 21-10 and second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei beat Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-15, 17-21, 21-17.