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Last gasp loss sees Lin Yun-ju return to Taiwan without singles medal

'Silent Assassin' played fantastically but just failed to clinch bronze against Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov

Taiwan's Lin Yun-ju medaled in mixed doubles and is still in men's team competition.

Taiwan's Lin Yun-ju medaled in mixed doubles and is still in men's team competition. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lin Yun-ju (林昀儒) collapsed in the final game of a thrilling best-of-seven contest on Friday (July 30), in the men’s singles semifinal of the Tokyo Olympics.

It was the second bronze for Dimitrij Ovtcharov, after he came third at the London Olympics. The German sank to his knees on winning the match 4-3, with 69 points to 68 overall.

The 19-year-old left-hander Lin did his country proud but seemed to tire in the sixth game after he had a number of match points. He had his chance but came up short, losing 11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-4, 13-15, and 7-11.

Known as the “Silent Assassin” because of his calm approach to the game, the loss will sting as he just missed out at the end. Even so, he will return to Taiwan and his hometown of Yuanshan in Yilan County with a medal after picking up bronze in the mixed doubles.

With partner Cheng I-ching (鄭怡靜), he came third by beating the French team of Lebesson Emmanuel and Yuan Jia Nan on Monday (July 26). The duo won 11-8, 11-7. 11-8, 11-5. In a stunning turnaround, the Japanese pair Mizutani Jun and Ito Mima beat China to take the title.

In the singles, Lin took China’s Fan Zhendong (樊振東) all the way in his previous match for the right to play in the final, but again couldn’t quite make it, losing out 4-3. As of press time, Fan was playing China’s Olympic and world champion Ma Long (馬龍) in the final.

Lin will get another chance to medal in the men's team event, with the round of 16 game on Sunday (Aug. 1) against Croatia, and the final on Friday (Aug. 6).

Updated : 2021-09-22 12:34 GMT+08:00