Olympic and world champion Lin “Super” Dan has been ordered to play in this week’s Chinese club qualifiers despite complaining of exhaustion.
The world number two, the only player to have won the world men’s singles title three times, admitted he was fatigued after a shock defeat in the East Asian Games final last weekend.
“I’m tired, tired, tired, tired. Really, really, really tired,” Lin told the China News Service after his upset loss to little-known South Korean Choi Ho-jin in Hong Kong on Sunday.
“I played a lot of games during the second half of this year, from the National Games to the China Masters, from French Open to China Open, and now the East Asian Games.
“Next I am going to the qualifications of the domestic super league. I hope the bosses will seriously consider a game schedule that suits me better.”
China’s hardline national team coach Li Yongbo had little sympathy, however, saying the 26-year-old must report for duty with Bayi, the club of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in which Lin technically serves as a Major. “As of the league qualifiers, however tired Lin Dan is, he has to carry on -- he can’t skip it because he’s too tired,” Li Yongbo told the Chengdu Business Daily.
“Each player has the obligation to play for his local team. It is a problem with the system.” The qualifiers in Guangzhou starting Wednesday, determine which eight of 14 clubs will play in the inaugural season of the domestic super league next year.