Chong Wei has to clear tough group for a pos­si­ble fi­nal against neme­sis Lin Dan

New Straits Times - - Sport - FABIAN PETER

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 .

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