SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Indonesia’s former Olympic champion shuttler Taufik Hidayat said he was past his prime after failing to halt Lin Dan and the Chinese juggernaut in the Thomas Cup final in Malaysia at the weekend.
China demolished Indonesia 3-0 in Sunday’s final of the biennial men’s team tournament after Olympic and world champion Lin had crushed Taufik 21-7 21-14 in less than an hour.
“It is indeed Lin’s era now. If I was still in my golden years, I would be able to overcome him, but I’m past my prime,” the 28-year-old Taufik told Monday’s Jakarta Post.
“I regret this defeat but I admit Lin’s technique and physical condition was better.
“I tried my best to handle him, but it was difficult.”
Taufik, who won the men’s singles at the 2004 Olympics, appealed for his country to do something to produce a new wave of players to replace him.
“Now I’m the first singles in my sixth Thomas Cup. There must be something wrong with the young players’ development,” the 2005 world champion told the Jakarta Globe.
“(On my debut in 2000) we could hardly select the names to fill in the lineup because we had too many good players, but now we have no more choices.
“I really wish this could be my last Thomas Cup.”
(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Beijing, editing by Greg Stutchbury; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)