GUANGZHOU, China, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's badminton superstar Lin Dan won a thrilling final for his fifth world champion here on Sunday over Lee Chong Wei, who abandoned his game in the decider due to injury.
Coming back from one set down, the defending champion, who entered the tournament with a wild card, led the score board 16-21, 21-13, 20-17 when Lee called the game off with an injured knee.
Lee, who lost both Beijing and London Olympic men's singles finals to Lin as well as that of the last world championships, was forced to halt the match twice for medical help.
Lin cared about Lee's injury and had twice approached to see if Lee could hang on before he helped the medical staff to carry the arch-rival and old friend of his off the court.
Lee was sent to hospital directly while his fans cheered and applauded for him outside of the Tianhe Gymnasium.
"I saw his leg cramp at that time. He really cannot persist, otherwise I think he will definitely not give up," said Lin after the match.
"I want to thank my great opponent, without whom I will never know where my potential is. Thank you, Lee."
After winning a back-to-back Olympic title a year ago in London, the 29-year-old Lin took a gap year to enjoy family time. He dropped to No. 286 in the world rankings recently.
His wife and former teammate Xie Xingfang, who showed up off-court as a guest seat broadcaster, gave Lin a kiss on the sideline while he celebrated his fifth crown at the world championships.
"Many people don't predict such an ending, but I think both of us have tried our best. We are both 30 year-old. One year after the London Olympics, we can still meet in the final. We have proved our value. There are no loser between us. We truly love badminton," added Lin.
Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China failed to give one significant honor missing from her ever-expanding trophy cabinet as she was defeated by Thailand's 18-year-old Ratchanok Intanon 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in the women's singles final.
Li squandered a 19-12 lead in the opening set as the hope of Thailand stormed back to take it by scoring five points in a row after trailing 20-17.
The second set was still a neck-and-neck contest, in which both sides traded point by point until 15-all. A smash into the net from Ratchanok gave Li the set.
However, Ratchanok regrouped herself in the decider, surging to an 8-2 lead and playing confidently to eventually secure the victory.
Beating the top shuttler from powerhouses China, Ratchanok hoped that could help Thai badminton develop.
"This victory increased my confidence and my next aim is the Olympic gold medal." she said.
"This is my first world championships. When I was close to the title, my mind went something wrong," commented Li, the No. 1 seed of the event.
In the women's doubles, China's Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli, who were disqualified for match-throwing from the Olympic Games in London, proved themselves by beating eighth seed Eom Hye Won/Jang Ye Na of South Korea 21-14, 18-21, 21-8.
Indonesia won the men's doubles and mixed doubles as Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan beat Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-13, 23-21, while Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir outclassed top seed Xu Chen/ Ma Jin of China 21-13, 16-21, 22-20 in the mixed.