MORTAL FOES SEPARATED BY DRAW
Chong Wei has to clear tough group for a possible final against nemesis Lin Dan
BADMINTON fans will be hoping for a dream final between China’s Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei in the World Championships in Glasgow later this month, but in reality, it may not materialise.
Yesterday, Chong Wei was placed in the bottom half of the men’s singles draw.
He is drawn to face reigning Olympic champion Chen Long of China in the quarter-finals.
But to get that far will also be a challenge for the 35-year-old as he is drawn to play China’s rising star Tian Houwei in the third round.
If the Malaysian clears his last eight match, the second seed will likely face third seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the semifinals.
Chong Wei will open his world meet campaign against Frenchman Brice Leverdez on Aug 21.
BA of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost, who was at the draw ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, said there is a possibility that Chong Wei will face Lin Dan in the final.
“They have proven from time and time again that they are among the greatest shuttlers in badminton as even at their advanced age, they are still playing well.
“But let's not forget the others. It is an open affair.
“For Chong Wei, the draw is not as simple as he has Chen Long, Axelsen and Houwei in the bottom half.
“We should also look at South Korea’s Son Wan Ho.
“Nobody is talking about the Korean although he is the top seed. His game may not be the most interesting one to watch, but he has fought tooth and nail to be where he is today,” said Frost.
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund added: “Everyone will surely be looking forward to a Chong Wei -Lin Dan showdown in the final, but I must agree with Frost, it remains only a possibility.
“These two have given so much to badminton and it would be great to see them play in the final, but it is getting more and more difficult for them as so many other players are coming up.
“Chen Long is not young but he is the reigning Olympic and world champion.
“Hopefully, we will get a great show in Glasgow.”
Other notable players in the men’s singles draw are China’s Shi Yuqi, Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen and Malaysia’s independent shuttler Zulfadli Zulkifli, who plays Ukraine’s Artem Pochtarov in the first round.
BAM technical director Morten Frost (left) with BWF secretary general Thomas Lund at a press conference after the World Championship draw yesterday .