Chinese superstar Lin Dan, who took the badminton world title for the fifth time early this month, is aiming for his third consecutive crown in China's National Games starting on Sunday.
Lin, 29, known as "Super Dan", will compete in the men's singles and the men's team events in the country's biggest multi-sport gala, representing the delegation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Lin won the gold medals in 2005 and 2009 editions of the Games. This year he is still hot favourite as he returned in style at the Guangzhou world championships after a year on the sidelines, taking the title again after his arch rival Lee Chong Wei was stretchered off the court in the third set of the final.
The National Games, billed as China's mini-Olympics, has long been a fierce battlefield for those participants. Good results at the Games are regarded as achievements of provincial sport bureaus and medal winners usually reap greater rewards than the international competitions.
In the men's singles, Lin stays on course to meet world No. 2 Chen Long from Fujian Province if both make it to the final after being placed in opposite halves of the draw.
The promising star Chen beat Lee of Malaysia to take the All England title in March, but lost to Lin in the quarterfinals of the world championships in two tough sets.
Women's singles Olympic champion Li Xuerui also plays for the PLA delegation at the Games. The world No. 1 lost to Thai star Ratchanok Intanon in the final of the world championships this year.
Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, who are No. 5 and No. 7 in the women's singles rankings, are also hot favourites in the event.