Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia cruised through his Olympic quarter-final to set up a mouth-watering semi-final against arch rival Lin Dan of China.
The 33-year-old world No. 1 made light work of quarter-final opponent Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei, winning 21-9, 21-15 on Wednesday in Rio.
This is the third time that the 32-year-old Lin Dan stands between Lee and Olympic gold, after the duo met in the finals of both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, with the Chinese star taking gold on both occasions, resigning Chong Wei to silver.
“The pressure is on now,” Chong Wei said. “It’s the usual thing. Now, I just want to focus on my own game and think of nothing else.
“But I’m glad to reach my third Olympic semi-finals. I want to enjoy every moment of it as it could be my last Olympics.”
While Lee outplayed his opponent in the quarter-final, Dan had to struggle to earn his place in the last four in a tough match against world No. 11 Srikanth Kidambi of India.
The Chinese world No. 3 had to deal with pressure from the Malaysian contingent in the crowd during his 21-6, 11-21, 21-18 victory. “But it didn’t affect me,” he said. “I managed to beat them.”