Updated: Saturday, 26 April 2014 17:42 | By Agence France-Presse

Lin Dan reaches final at Asia Championships

Five-times world champion Lin Dan reached the men's singles final at the Badminton Asia Championships in South Korea on Saturday.


Lin Dan reaches final at Asia Championships

China's Lin Dan serves to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei during their men's singles final at World Badminton Championships in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province on August 11, 2013 - by Str

The Chinese star has just one final hurdle to face before he can secure his third continental title, after beating compatriot Liu Kai 21-14, 21-13 in the semi-finals in just 27 minutes.

Lin has yet to drop a set and has never needed more than 34 minutes to win any of his matches so far in Gimcheon, about 230 kilometers (144 miles) southeast of Seoul.

Lin, once ranked number one, has fallen to 83rd following an extended hiatus. But he returned to action at the China Masters earlier this month and went on to win the event on home soil.

Lin will face world number 23, Sho Sasaki of Japan, in Sunday's final. Sasaki defeated Hwang Jong-Soo of South Korea 21-13, 21-15 in the semi-finals.

Lin has beaten Sasaki nine times out of ten matches across their careers, the sole loss coming at the Indonesia Open in 2011.

South Korean Shin Baek-Cheol made it into finals in the men's doubles and the mixed doubles. In the men's event, Shin teamed up with Yoo Yeon-Seong to upset the third-seeded tandem of Jongjit Maneepong and Puangpuapech Nipitphon of Thailand, 21-17, 22-20.

Shin and his mixed doubles partner Jang Ye-Na then upended the number two seed from Thailand, Prapakamol Sudket and Thoungthongkam Saralee, 21-11, 21-12.

In the men's doubles final, it will be Shin and Yoo against Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of China. The mixed doubles final will pit Shin and Jang against Lee Chun Hei and Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong, the number three seed.

Both the women's singles and the women's doubles finals will have South Korean flavour on Sunday.

In the singles, Sung Ji-Hyun beat Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 23-21, 21-13, to set up a matchup against the top-seeded Wang Shixian of China on Sunday. Wang outdueled P.V. Sindhu of India 15-21, 22-20, 21-12 over 78 minutes in the semi-finals.

South Korea's Kim Ha-Na and Jung Kyung-Eun made the women's doubles final after getting past Zhong Qianxin and Xia Huan of China, 21-23, 21-15, 21-16.

Their opponents Sunday will be Luo Ying and Luo Yu of China, who defeated Ponnappa Ashwini and Gutta Jwata of India 21-12, 21-7 in the semi-finals.

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