May 9 - Double Olympic and four-time world Champion Lin Dan will have the chance to defend his world title on home soil after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Committee of Management unanimously agreed to award the only wild card spot for the World Championships in Guangzhou this year to the Chinese star.
The 29-year-old Dan, considered as one of the greatest badminton players of all time, has scarcely competed in events since retaining his Olympic men's singles gold medal at London 2012, and saw his world ranking drop to number 41 as a result, ruling him out of achieving direct qualification for the Championships.
"The BWF's Committee of Management (COM) for the World Championships has voted unanimously to award the legendary Men's Singles player a wild card for the 5-11 August showpiece in Guangzhou in his homeland." said the BWF in a statement.
"The offer has been accepted by the China Badminton Association (CBA).
"Exercising its prerogative to nominate a wild-card entry in each category, the COM determined the 29-year-old's stature and fan appeal would significantly enhance the Championships."
The news is sure to spark excitement for badminton fans across the world as the man dubbed "Super Dan" looks set to rekindle his fierce rivalry with current world number one Lee Chong-Wei of Malaysia, who has had to settle for Olympic silver at the last two Games after final defeats by Lin.
Lin has amassed an astonishing 50 individual titles throughout his career and is the only player in history to have competed the "Super Grand Slam" of winning all nine of the major titles in badminton.
Along with his individual achievements, he has also had success as part of the Chinese team, winning two Asian Games gold medals, four Sudirman Cup titles and five Thomas Cup gold medals.
Lin made his comeback last month at the Asia Cup, but was forced to withdraw before his quarter-final tie against Wang Zhengming due to a shoulder injury.
The BWF World Championships are due take place at the TianHe Indoor Gymnasium in Guangzhou, China, from August 5 until 11.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]