Lin Dan: The Best Chinese Badminton Player
Lin Dan (also known as Super Dan) is one of the most talented singles badminton players of all time. As of writing this, he is the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Gold Medallist and 4 times Badminton World Champion.
Although Lin Dan has won all the major titles in badminton, his skills and talents in badminton is not truly reflected through the BWF World Ranking system.
This is because he has not been participating in badminton tournaments, hence losing the opportunity to obtain those precious BWF ranking points. For example, he hardly played in the 12 OSIM BWF World Super Series tournaments in 2011.
In 2011, Lin Dan’s world ranking has fallen dramatically. This was due to him giving the opportunity to his fellow Chinese badminton players to excel in the sport.
Despite this, he still fought hard in major tournaments such as the Badminton World Championships.
He showed great character in the first ever Super Series Premier, the Victor Korea Open in 2011.
His Greatest Opponent
Most of the time he faced current world no.1 Lee Chong Wei in the finals of major tournaments held in 2011.
The rivalry between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei had been extremely entertaining.
Their battles on the badminton court simply gets better and better every time they meet.
For a player of Lin Dan’s standards, Lee Chong Wei is the only badminton player at present that can give him a good fight.
Despite that, he has won most of his matches against Lee Chong Wei.
When Lin Dan was younger, there used to be stronger badminton legends with the likes of Peter Gade and Taufik Hidayat.
Unfortunately, these legends have become older and are not able to keep up with Super Dan’s pace due to their decrease in fitness levels. On top of that, Super Dan has also improved.
The video above shows you his rally against Taufik Hidayat (white shirt) in 2004 during the Indonesia Open.
Observe how fast and fit Taufik was back in 2004 where he won the Olympics Gold during that year.
Of course, Lin Dan was already a good player in 2004, but he is much better now.
What would happen if he could travel back to time from now to 2004 and play against a younger Taufik? It would be really interesting to see who is better!
Style of Play
His style of play involves taking a lot of risks in his badminton games.
Let me explain. In some situations, he tends to smash towards the sidelines of the badminton court.
In badminton, there is a common trade off between power and accuracy.
As such, you’ll need to sacrifice power in order to have better accuracy.
As for Lin Dan, he injects a lot of power and smashes towards the sidelines if he sees the opportunity.
Smashing towards the sidelines is risky!
It’s risky in the sense that the smash has a higher chance to go WIDE. With such power, it’s easy for the shuttle to fly out of the court.
Click here to read more on sacrificing power for accuracy in a badminton smash
Exploiting every opportunity has been his ultimate winning factor.
In badminton, we know that body balance is very important. It’s impossible to hit a strong smash if you’re off balance.
If you force yourself to hit a powerful smash when you’re off balance, you might totally lose balance and weaken your footwork.
However, when Super Dan sees the opportunity to hit a winning smash, he hits it very hard even when he’s off balance!
This is considered to be risky because he might get into trouble if his opponent manages to retrieve his smash.
Every time he takes risks, it turns out to be rewarding to him.
Maybe his decisions to perform his badminton shots are considered to be high risk in our eyes.
But to him, these types of high risk shots are easily managed.
His specialty is his Around the Head Jump Smash. This is definitely his trade mark shot.
In order to perform an around the head jump smash, a player jumps diagonally towards the backhand area to hit a forehand stroke. This is definitely not easy!
He executes this shot when he sees the opportunity to intercept a shot heading to his backhand area.
A full swing of a forehand stroke will not be performed because the objective is to be FAST and to catch the opponent off-guard. Most of the power comes from wrist action.
The forehand stroke will be performed at the backhand area, hence it is called the around the head jump smash.
The video below is an example of his Around the Head Smash.
I could not find the best example of Lin Dan’s around the head jump smash in a short clip. The shot is something like this (as shown in the video).
I think he is the only badminton player at the present that is capable of performing such a strong Around the Head Jump Smash.
To perform this shot, you’ll need to have quick accelaration of pace (for movement speed and power of shot).
Quick pace allows a player to quickly intercept a shot. At the same time, the player has to be quick enough to inject great power into a smash.
It is definitely not easy to produce a burst of speed and power so quickly. Lin Dan has the ability to do this.
As you can see in the video above, these types of deadly smashes can catch opponents off-guard.
In this case, Lee Chong Wei was not ready to defend that around the head smash from Lin Dan as shown in the video.
What’s Your Opinion on Lin Dan?
This is my personal take on this great player. There’s definitely more about him. If you have something to say about Super Dan, feel free to create your own page about this badminton player! !
We highly appreciate your knowledge on this player and through your comments; we may learn more about this player and possibly study ways to improve our own badminton skills.
Tell me what you think!
What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.