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'Super Dan' overpowers Lee Chong Wei to reach All England semis

At the All England Open, Chinese sporting icon and six-time winner Lin Dan went up against old rival and defending Champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Friday.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Lin Dan of China competes against Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan during day two of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at Arena Birmingham on March 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The contest in Birmingham was their 40th encounter and it would be marked with a win for "Super Dan" who came out on top 21-16, 21-17.

In their previous meetings, Lin had the superior record with 28 wins. It was the three-time Olympic Silver medalist, Lee, who started the strongest. Lee went into a four-nil lead only for Dan to fight back. At eight all, the 35-year-old Malaysian regained a slender advantage with a precise backhand, too far to reach.

The Beijing 2008 and London 2012 winner turned the tables in the next series of exchanges. When his opponent came into difficulty with the score at 19-16 in Lin's favor, he grasped the opportunity and went on to win the first game 21-16.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Lin Dan of China celebrates after beating Wang Tzu Wei of Taiwan during day two of the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at Arena Birmingham on March 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Things were just as tight in the second game, but in a hard fought contest, the 34-year-old man from Fujian sealed the deal with a 21-16, 21-17 win. In the semi-finals, He will face compatriot Huang Yuxiang.

“After the match we congratulated one another because we both played quite well, but neither quite at our best today,” Lin remarked afterwards. He went on to say...“Every time I meet him, I always want to play my best because he is the one of the most respected players in the world for me."

FILE -A Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 file photo of Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Meanwhile, Lee was accepting of his defeat saying… "I tried my best to beat him but he played too many moves that I didn't expect. I tried my best in every shot. He was very precise and made no mistakes."