Hi-tech Holding Group, the Chinese finance company, has signed a sponsorship agreement with the country’s national badminton team. China has one of the world’s most successful badminton programmes, and has secured a steady stream of medals in international competition. Lin Dan, the team’s star player, secured an Olympic gold medal in Beijing last year in one of the Games’ most lopsided gold-medal matches.
Lin demolished Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the final in just 39 minutes, cheered on by hordes of screaming fans. Super Dan, a soldier in the Chinese army, is the biggest star in what is one of the country’s most popular sports.
Hi-tech will sponsor the national team for four years. That will take the deal past the next Olympics, in London in 2012, at which Lin is already being tipped to retain his gold medal. The Beijing Olympics also saw Chen Jin secure a bronze medal in the men’s event, while Zhang Ning retained the women’s gold she had won in Athens 2004.
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