Badminton: Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei set for All England 2017 battle

The two-time Olympic champion has not played since Rio Games.

Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan
Lee got the better of his Chinese rival at the 2016 Rio Games Reuters

Defending champion Lin Dan will be participating in the upcoming All England Championship, starting 7 March, the tournament's official website has confirmed.

While the world number one Lee Chong Wei had revealed earlier that he would begin his 2017 season at the Superseries Premier tournament in Birmingham, the six-time champion's participation was confirmed after the last date for entry - 24 January.

"Badminton fans at the Barclaycard Arena this March could be set for a rare last glimpse of two legends going head to head for one final time at the YONEX All England after reigning champion Lin and world number one Lee Chong both confirmed their entry for the 2017 Championships," a statement on the tournament's website read.

Notably, Super Dan has not participated in any tournaments after his Rio Olympic stint in August last year. The two-time Olympic gold medallist failed to defend his title at the Games and went home empty-handed after losing the semi-final to Lee and the bronze medal match to Denmark's Viktor Axelsen.

Also read: Lee Chong Wei opens up on retirement, his successor in Malaysia

The confirmation of participation of two of the biggest badminton stars, who are nearing the end of their careers, means they are likely to resume their rivalry this season. While the Chinese shuttler will be eyeing a record seventh title, the Malaysian giant, who has not played since the Superseries Finals in Dubai last year, will be gunning his fourth.

If the two shuttlers face each other in March, then it will be their fourth All England meeting. Notably, Lin Dan has a 2-1 head-to-head record over Lee at the Superseries Premier tournament with their last meeting coming at the 2012 finals, in which Lee was forced to withdraw due to injury after losing first game 19-21.

While there has been no word about Lin Dan's future, Lee has reportedly revealed that he will be participating at the 2017 World Championships, starting 21 August in Glasgow and take a call on his future depending on his fitness but has promised to give his all in the remaining leg of his career.

Following All England, the 34-year-old is expected to participate in the India Open (28 March to 2 April), Malaysian Open (4 to 9 April), Sudirman Cup (21 to 28 May) and the Indonesian Open (13 to 18 June) in the lead up to Glasgow.

Join the Discussion