• China's badminton player Lin Dan at a news conference in 2012.

China's badminton player Lin Dan at a news conference in 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

With the eager expectations of not only his compatriots, but the rest of the badminton world, upon his shoulders, Lin Dan pushed through to the final eight of the All England world championship tournament in Birmingham this week.

A 21-15, 21-19 victory against teammate, 23-year-old Tian Houwei, means that the two-time Olympic gold winner and five-time world champion still has a chance of walking into the Rio 2016 Olympic spectacular with yet another All England title under his belt.

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However, even though "Super Dan," as he is called in his homeland, won in straight sets, his game was not merely a leisurely stroll around the court.

After securing the first set, the trailing Tian managed to come back from a 3-6 score at the end of the second game by attaining six consecutive points.

Through the power of his hard-hitting smashes, Tian temporarily enjoyed a 9-6 lead.

The scoreline was subsequently leveled on a number of occasions, right up until 18-18, but Super Dan was far too strong in the end and overpowered his teammate to emerge the winner with a 21-19 final score.

Lin, who must now prepare for the All England quarterfinals round, commended his opponent afterward, but also disclosed to reporters what he thought Tian's mistake might have been: "Houwei played smartly today, but maybe he has put himself under too much pressure."

Although the 31-year-old admitted that "nobody wants to meet teammates at such an early stage," his mind will not be able to dwell on the match against Tian, as top seed Chen Long is also in the quarterfinals, after he demolished Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei, 21-7, 21-9.