New Delhi: China’s two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan announced his retirement on Saturday. The 37-year-old, who won the Olympics singles titles in Beijing in 2008 and the 2012 London Games, has won all the sport’s major titles, including five world championships’ gold medals.
“I’ve dedicated everything to the sport I love. My family, coaches, team mates and fans have accompanied me through many happy times and difficult moments,” Chinese media quoted Lin Dan as saying in the retirement announcement.
“Now I’m 37 years old, and my physical fitness and pain no longer allow me to fight side by side with my team mates,” Lin added.
Lin, who had something of a “bad boy” reputation during his younger days and has several tattoos, ends with 666 singles wins and a glut of medals.
Widely regarded as the greatest badminton player of all time, by the age of 28 Lin had completed the “Super Grand Slam”, having won all nine major titles in the badminton world: Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games, and Asian Championships, becoming the first and only player to achieve this feat.
He is also the first men’s singles player to retain the Olympic gold medal by winning in 2008 and defending his title in 2012.
Winning the Malaysian Open in 2017 marked Lin’s success in having won every major title in the badminton world.
In 2004, he was dubbed “Super Dan” by opponent Peter Gade after winning the All England Open final, and the nickname has since been widely used by his fans as well as the media to refer to him, in recognition of his achievements.