Lin Dan earned his sixth All England badminton title when he routed Chinese teammate Tian Houwei 21-9, 21-10 in the final today. The final lacked any tension, as Lin bolted to 4-0, enjoyed the same margin at the changeover and pulled away.
There were no yells of joy or frustration, just a couple of fist pumps, and Lin could afford to play to the crowd and still win the next point. The near full house encouraged Tian, who was trying to beat Lin at his seventh attempt, but an air of inevitability crept over proceedings.
That was fine with Lin. He averaged an hour per match to reach his ninth All England final, satisfied that a winter of hard training has built up a reserve of energy that badminton’s only two-time Olympic men’s champion will translate into a third gold in Rio de Janeiro.
The sixth championship by badminton’s greatest player came 12 years after his first, and four years after his last, when he went into semi-retirement for two years.
In the women’s final later, Wang Shixian of China was going for her third title, and out to spoil Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara’s 21st birthday.