Lin Dan's grip is flawed says Xiong Guobao

Published: Jun 30, 2011, 08:37 IST | Ashwin Ferro

China's Lin Dan is arguably the greatest badminton player of all time. But in all likelihood, even he may not be perfect after all

China's Lin Dan is arguably the greatest badminton player of all time. But in all likelihood, even he may not be perfect after all.

Former World Champion and now a renowned coach, China's Xiong Guobao believes there is a flaw in Dan's style of play and that too in one of the most basic aspects of the game - his grip!

A former three-time Thomas Cup champion, Guobao, has dedicated himself to researching the finer aspects of the game and coaches kids to ensure they don't repeat the mistakes their elders are in fact oblivious to. "Dan's grip is only 80 percent of what it should be.

Though no player has a 100 percent perfect grip, Dan's grip could have been different and better," Guobao said on the sidelines of the global launch of Thwack, a sports equipment and services company, part of the
One Sports Group.

Guobao and Thwack yesterday launched a revolutionary concept (patented by One Sports) in badminton racquets - particularly in the grip aspect. Known in his hey days as the Backhand King, Guobao, who rubbed shoulders with shuttling greats like Morten Frost, Han Jian and even our very own Prakash Padukone, said most people often ignore the grip aspect of the game which is the most basic yet most important. "It's for this reason that I've come out with the JFX (for juniors/amateurs) and SFX (seniors/professionals) racquets that have exquisite hooves in the grip wherein a player fits in his fingers for a better hold. This grip enhances a player's ability to play both hands (backhand and forehand) with equal ease and consequently improves his game," explained the 49-year-old, a two-time Indonesian Open and Malaysian Open champion, besides having bagged the Japan Open and Hong Kong Open titles once.

Coming back to Lin Dan, Guobao however clarified that the 27-year-old super shuttler, who has won everything there is to win in the game - right from the Asian Games gold to the Olympic gold and the World Championships - need not worry about his grip aspect nevertheless.

"That's because Lin Dan is an exceptionally talented player. He is fast, very fast and that aspect of his game supercedes everything else. That's why though I believe that in my time Frost was the best badminton player around, over all I would have no hesitation in admitting that Lin Dan's the greatest," he said.


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