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2008 Summer Olympic Games Preview - Badminton

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Chinese have traditionally dominated badminton at the Olympics, and with all-time medal lead in the sport and playing in their home country, they are expected to reign supreme in Beijing.

China has been head and shoulders above the rest in Badminton with 22 Olympic medals, followed by Indonesia (15) and South Korea (14).

Badminton will be played at the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium and it consists of five events - men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles.

Four years ago, Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat won the Olympic gold medal and this will mark his third appearance at the Summer Games. In 2000, he was upset in the quarterfinals by the eventual gold-medal winner Jin Xinpeng of China.

The big story going into these Olympics is the fiery play of a Chinese player known as "Super Dan", that of Lin Dan, the world's top-ranked player. Lin has incredible appeal in his home country, not only that but his Chinese girlfriend, Xie Xingfang, is the world's No. 1 ranked player.

Lin was beaten in the round of 32 in 2004, but has reportedly been prepping himself for the Olympics in unconventional ways. He reportedly punched his coach, Ji Xinpeng, the 2000 gold medallist in Sydney. The disagreement was reportedly due to their practice regimen.

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei is ranked second in the world and seems like the biggest threat to Lin.

While the Chinese were swept out of medal contention in the men's tournament last time out, the women won a gold (Zhang Ning) and bronze (Gong Ruina) in Athens.

Leading the U.S. contingent will be 2004 Olympian and 2005 world champion Howard Bach. Eva Lee will compete in women's singles and women's doubles. The U.S. has never won a medal in badminton.

Great Britain's Donna Kellogg, a doubles specialist, qualified for her third Olympics. She has still yet to medal.

07/17 13:20:28 ET


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