Chinese superstar Lin Dan, who retired last week, is not hanging up his racquet just yet as he expressed hope of defending his men’s singles title at the National Games of China in 2021.

That is, if he doesn’t put on weight from post-professional badminton.

“If I gain weight by March next year, I won’t compete anymore. If I don’t gain weight, I will continue to work hard.

“I also hope to have such an opportunity to work hard to participate in the 2021 National Games. So far I have participated in five National Games, so if all goes well, I hope to play another,” said Lin Dan according to Beijing Youth Daily.

The National Games, also known as the All China Games, is a premier sporting event in China for elite athletes that is held every four years.

Lin Dan is the defending men’s singles champion, having thrashed Shi Yuqi 21-12, 21-13 to win the 2017 edition.

He also won in 2013 after beating Du Pengyu 21-18, 21-5 in the final.

Lin Dan quit the national team last week having won every accolade the game had to offer in the last 20 years.

Loss of form and injuries meant he had to forgo his dreams of featuring in his fifth Olympics in Tokyo, which was pushed to 2021.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist bowed out from the international scene, having last won the 2019 Malaysia Open with a win over compatriot Chen Long.

His last final came at the Korea Masters where he lost to Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama.

The southpaw may not have legs for elite badminton anymore, but he may well keep his word and stay in shape for next year’s National Games.

After winning the 2012 Olympics, Lin Dan did not play competitive badminton for almost a year, but returned in top shape for the 2013 World Championships to beat Lee Chong Wei in the final and win the world title for the fifth time.