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Chinese not competitive enough in influential sports, says badminton player Lin Dan

02-06-2012 13:16 BJT

LONDON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The reason why China lacks Laureus award-winning athletes is that Chinese are not competitive enough in some influential categories, said famous Chinese badminton player Lin Dan on Sunday.

"China is one of the countries with most world champions, but it is a pity that the categories in which Chinese are competitive are not globally influential," Lin said during an interview with Xinhua.

Since 2000 Chinese have won three Laureus Awards, including Yao Ming and Liu Xiang as Best Newcomers of the Year, and Chinese Olympic team as the Best Team of the Year.

However, none of the Chinese have been awarded as the best sportsman or sportswoman in the "Oscar in sports". Most of such classic awards were given to players in golf, tennis as well as track and field.

"China is good in diving, table tennis and badminton, and for so many times our national flag was hoisted across the world. But globally these sports are not popular enough," he said.

This year Li Na, the first Asian player ever to win a singles Grand Slam title, was nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year. Along with her was hurdles star Liu Xiang, China's first male Olympic gold medalist in track and field.

Talking about his compatriots, Lin Dan said it was "really not easy for Liu Xiang to gain the nomination".

"Since 2004 he had gone through so many twists and turns but persisted nevertheless," said Li Dan, arguably the greatest shuttler of all time.

He believed that Li Na set up a good example for other Chinese players. "Few Chinese people are good at tennis, but Li succeeded. She proved that in many unfamiliar fields Chinese can win so long as they try."

"I want to promote badminton to make it one of the most influential sports in the world," Lin said, adding that it was exactly the reason why he came to the Laureus award ceremony in London.

"After my retirement, if one day when I switch on the television, I can see a badminton player, not necessarily a Chinese, win the Laureus award, I will be very happy," he said.

Talking about the upcoming London Olympics, Lin is not sure whether he will come.

"I am working hard for the preparation and I hope that the coaches could, when drafting the final list for Olympic participants, write down my name without hesitation," he said.

Lin carved out his professional career in 2001. He admitted that the London Games might be his last Olympics.

"If I can still be standing in the Olympic arena, I would be satisfied because it means for nearly 12 years, I am still in good shape," he said.

When asked about his arch rival in the forthcoming competition, Lin said: "I will fight each and every competitor with might and main, whether he is Lee Chong Wei or Taufik Hidayat, or some one else."

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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