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Now for the Olympic gold

Lin Dan (below), cemented his position as arguably the greatest ever badminton player when he led China to a fifth consecutive Thomas Cup triumph and ninth overall on Sunday. 

The reigning world, Asian and Olympic champion, who is hoping to secure back-to-back Olympic gold medals when he competes in London later this year, send China on the way to victory when he outplayed Lee Hyun Il 21-14, 21-17 in 54 minutes.

China’s fifth consecutive Thomas Cup triumph matched the record set by Indonesia, who won five titles between 1994-2002.

“This is the sixth time I’m playing in the Thomas Cup and I now have five winners’ medal,” said Lin Dan. “There is a slight obligation to win for everyone as I know how important this tournament is to the country.”

He added: “I don't know how many more Thomas Cups I’ll play. This one is at home and I wanted to put on a good show.

“Every player gets nervous. When you’re young it’s because you’re excited, it’s the first time you wear your national colours. When you’re older, it’s because there’s a lot of expectation. I didn't sleep so well last night.”

He then warned his rivals he will not rest on his laurels with the Olympics just two months away.

“I know I will have a tough fight on my hands in London. There is (Lee) Chong Wei and Peter (Gade) to watch out for as well as my teammates. Everyone else will also be gunning for me,” said Lin Dan, who has won every major title there is to win in badminton.

“I will train very hard for London – just as hard as I did for 2008 when the Olympics were held in Beijing. I will go out and give my best as usual.”

Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng, like Lin Dan, world champions on four occasions, then increased China’s lead with a comfortable 21-16, 25-23 victory over scratch South Korea pair Lee Yong Dae-Kim Sa Rang (left).

Yong Dae’s usual partner Jung Jae Sung missed the Thomas Cup through injury, but will be fit for the Olympics and they are seen as the main threats to Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng’s golden dreams.

Next on court was Chen Long (right), who secured the title for China by brushing aside Shon Wan Ho 21-9, 21-13.

China’s head coach Li Yongbo was obviously delighted with the win and said: “Indonesia have done it before, so we just matched their record. I hope we can win the title in 2014 so that a new record will be set."

South Korea's coach Sung Han Kook had said the first singles was the key in the final.

For full results, click here.

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