Rio de Janeiro, Nov 25 (IANS) Chinese superstar Lin Dan said that Rio’s badminton arena could be the most special one among all Olympic venues after sailing past the first round of the Olympic test event here. Currently ranked third in the world, Lin is the only famous shuttler at the test event, named as the Brasil Open Grand Prix, as most shuttlers are youngsters and lower-ranked, reports Xinhua. “I felt very tired after flying for almost one day to Rio. The reason to come here is hoping to know more about the Rio Olympics, such as the venue and climate,” Lin said on Tuesday. The two-time Olympic champion needed just 22 minutes to sweep aside Brazilian Igor Ibrahim 21-12, 21-5 at the Riocentro, where the Olympic badminton event will be held next year.
However, the 32-year-old was surprised with the limited number of stands. “When I come to the venue, I feel surprised. For me, it could be the most special one among all Olympic venues because there are not so many stands. I don’t know whether it will have more stands next year,” said the five-time World Champion. Located at a pavilion of an exhibition centre near the Olympic park, the venue currently only has a temporary stand of five layers, the seating capacity of which is no more than 500. Badminton World Federation (BWF) general secretary Thomas Lund, however, defended the venue. “We are progressing with the preparation. It would be different because a stand with 7,000 seating capacity will be built next year around the field of play. After that the venue will look exactly the same as we had in Beijing and London Olympics,” he said. According to Lund, the intention of the test event is to test things people don’t see, but would be important as a whole, such as the lighting, field of play, air conditioning, and the operation of volunteers and management team.