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Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei: the final countdown?

By Katie Falkingham, Sportsbeat

On the eve of yet another TOTAL BWF World Championships, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei still remain tight-lipped over whether it will be their last.

At 33 and 34 respectively, the duo - whose on-court rivalry has provided entertainment to millions for over a decade - are fast approaching the end of their playing days.

Whether this will be the last time we see them on the Worlds stage remains to be seen, but they’re certainly determined to put on a show in Glasgow.

In opposite halves of the draw, the two are not likely to meet before the final, should they both make it all the way to Sunday.

That would mark their 40th bout on court, and one that would no doubt add to the illustrious history they already share.

At present, Lin has five World titles to his name, while Lee is still chasing his first, but both are fully aware of the challenge that lies in wait.

“I would be very happy to win a sixth World Championship title, but I have a lot of work to do before then,” said Lin.

“There are lots of very good players in the badminton world right now, but I feel really happy to have the certainty and support from fans who call me the Greatest.

“At this year’s World Championships, every player will be hard to compete against. We have put our heart and soul into it and we have to do our best.

“Many young players are competing against us and that is a challenge, but we really want badminton to grow much stronger across the world.”

Lee, however, is no stranger to success on British soil, having won the YONEX All England Open on four occasions.

But while he still awaits a maiden Worlds title, he’s determined not to put any pressure on himself.

“Everything is fine, I have been in Glasgow since Friday and I have seen the tournament hall. It looks good,” he said.

“This year the competition is very tough. I am very focused, but it is going to be hard.

"At the Olympics, there were only two Chinese players, but here there are many more. The draw is very tough but I am going to do my best.

“This year, there are a lot of good players in men’s singles.

“I have lost in the finals of three World Championships, but this year, I feel that I have nothing to lose.”

The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.

It is being delivered by BADMINTONscotland in partnership with Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council and with funding support from EventScotland and The National Lottery through UK Sport.

Tickets available at www.glasgow2017.com/tickets