China's two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan has announced his retirement at the age of 36.
This means that the left-hander, who was the Olympic champion at the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games as well as a five-time winner at the World Badminton Championships, will not be seen in the next Olympics in Tokyo.
"From 2000 to 2020, after 20 years, I have to say goodbye to the national team. It is very difficult to speak it out. My physical capabilities and injuries won't let me fight with my teammates anymore. My family, coaches, team-mates and fans have accompanied me through many peaks and difficult troughs. Every forceful jump was a desire for victory. I have dedicated everything to this sport I love."
Lin Dan is believed to have submitted a formal retirement application to the Chinese badminton national team a few days ago.
Lin Dan retires a year after rival Lee Chong Wei
Lin Dan has pulled the curtain down on his career only a year after Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei retired. The duo were great competitors for over a decade.
One of the highlights of Lin Dan's career is the 2012 Olympics men's singles final when he got the better of Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 to take the medal home. The duo had also contested the 2008 Beijing Olympics final, with Lin recording a 21-12, 21-8 win against Lee.
Super Dan, as he was fondly called, has all nine major badminton titles in his kitty: the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Asian Championships, the World Cup, the Thomas Cup, the All England Open, the Sudirman Cup, the Super Series Masters Finals and the Asian Games. He is the first and only player to achieve this feat.
All in all, Lin Dan has won 666 singles matches and has lost only 128.