Glasgow, Aug 20 - China's Lin Dan and Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei will focus more on themselves than the elusive highly-anticipated contest between the arch-rivals in World Badminton Championships final.
At a press conference here on Sunday, the veterans shrugged off too much comment on the duel, saying that they needed to focus on every match ahead, reports Xinhua news agency.
The two great shuttlers have been drawn into different halves in Glasgow. If they clash in the final, it will be the 40th career duel between them, one as the five-time world champion, the other making four appearances in a row in the World Championships final.
Compared with the draw, one more important thing is that we need to do our best, as every player is tough to beat, commented Lin.
Lee echoed: I need to focus more on myself, because there are many strong opponents in men's singles ahead.
This year, I have nothing to lose, and just fight. The draw is quite tough for me, so I just try my best, he added.
According to the draw, the second-seeded Lee, in the bottom half, might book a possible quarter-final clash with Olympic champion Chen Long of China, whom he lost to last year in Rio Olympics final. Before that, he was expected to meet another Chinese shuttler Tian Houwei.
Lin was placed in the other half along with world No. 1 Son Wan Ho of South Korea and fellow Chinese Shi Yuqi.
I will be pretty happy about winning the sixth world title, but I have to do a lot of work before that, Lin pointed out.
For the 33-year-old Lin, promoting the sport of badminton around the world weighs heavier than just winning personal glory.
Lee and I will meet tough challenges from promising young players, and this is quite normal. We want to promote badminton as a mainstream sport, not only in Asia, but also around the world, Lin commented.
This is not just about me. Much more effort and support is needed from players from other associations and the BWF (Badminton World Federation), he added.
Will Glasgow be your last World Championships? the press conference moderator asked two 30-plus-year-old players the same question, only to get the same answer: I don't know.