The script has been perfected for the meeting between national men’s single ace, Lee Chong Wei and China’s Lin Dan in the semi-final at the Rio Olympics.
They were both expected to continue their rivalry at the semis this time around and they did just that by getting past their respective quarter-final hurdle.
Chong Wei eased past Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen 21-9, 21-15 in just 40 minutes at the Riocentro Pavilion 4 to extend his perfect record against the Taiwanese to 5-0.
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic gold medallist and defending champion Lin Dan had to work hard for his win against K. Srikanth of India in rubber set.
The third-seeded player trounced his opponent 21-6 in the first set but was forced to play a decider after Srikanth mounted an unlikely comeback to clinch the second set 21-11.
Lin Dan was clearly under pressure in the final set as he had to fight for every single point to close out the game 21-18.
World no. 1 Chong Wei will be ready this time to face his arch rival in a bid to get his maiden Olympic gold.
“What’s important is that I remain focused, even though there is pressure since this will be my final appearance at the Games.
“I need to handle the pressure well and I hope I’ll be able to follow the footsteps of the mixed doubles and men’s doubles duos who made it into the final,” he said, as quoted by Sinar Harian.
Chong Wei made it to the finals in the previous two Olympics at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, but he was defeated by Lin Dan on both occasions.