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Badminton: Chen, Jorgensen head singles qualifiers for Dubai finale

World No. 2 Chen Long headed eight leading qualifiers for the men’s singles at the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals. Photos: AFP.

World No. 2 Chen Long heads eight men’s singles qualifiers for the Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals. Photos: AFP.

November 27, 2014: World No. 2 Chen Long will be the top seed in the men’s singles at the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals, which will be held at Hamdan Sports Complex from December 17-21.

 

Following the conclusion of the MetLife BWF World Superseries in Hong Kong last week, Chen finished second on the Destination Dubai Rankings behind World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who can’t play in Dubai as he’s provisionally suspended for an apparent anti-doping regulation violation.

 

Chen, who won the Superseries Finals in 2012, finished close behind Lee in the rankings with 60,640 points, while Danish star Jan Jorgensen was next with 51,830 points.

 

“I’m looking forward to playing in the BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals, especially after an enjoyable visit to the city last month. Hamdan Sports Complex is an amazing venue and I think all the players will love it,” said Chen, who suffered a surprise loss to Korea No. 1 Son Wan-ho in the final of last week’s Hong Kong Open.

 

“I know many of them are also looking forward to sightseeing and visiting some of the world-famous locations like Burj Khalifa. This is a great reward for the top players at the end of the season and I personally want to perform well and finish 2014 on a high note.”

 

World No. 3 Jan Jorgensen will be bidding for his first World Superseries Finals title.

World No. 3 Jan Jorgensen will be bidding for his first World Superseries Finals title.

The six other men’s singles qualifiers, in order of their Destination Dubai Rankings, are Japan’s Kento Momota (World No. 15), Son (No. 6), India’s Kidambi Srikanth (No. 10), Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (No. 11), Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto (No. 4) and Kenichi Tago (No. 5).

 

World No. 1 Li Xuerui topped the Destination Dubai Rankings in the women’s singles and will bid for a hat-trick of titles, having won in Shenzhen in 2012 and in Kuala Lumpur a year ago.

 

Compatriots Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan – both former winners – finished second and third in the rankings respectively, but the latter could miss out as no country can field more than two singles players or pairs per category. All qualifiers are subject to confirmation from teams and players by December 5.

 

Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, who beat Li to win last year’s World Championship in Guangzhou, and Indian superstar Saina Nehwal of India were fourth and fifth on the rankings. Taiwanese youngster Tai Tzu-ying, who won the Hong Kong Open, Koreans Sung Ji-hyun and Bae Yeon-ju and 17-year-old Japanese sensation Akane Yamaguchi complete the top eight qualifiers.

 

Nehwal, 24, won her second title on this year’s Superseries at this month’s Thaihot China Open in Fuzhou and is expected to lead the challenge against the Chinese superstars in Dubai.

 

“I’m very excited to play in Dubai, which is such a beautiful city,” said Nehwal, the World No. 4. “For the first time we will be playing such a big tournament there. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of Indian fans. It will be great fun.”

Danish star Christinna Pedersen will aim to replicate her incredible feat in Kuala Lumpur last year, when she won both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles crowns.

 

“I’m really looking forward to playing in Dubai and, of course, the Finals are something special,” Pedersen said. “It went really well last year and I would like repeat that, but the competition is really hard in both categories as only the best pairs are coming to Dubai.”

 

The men’s doubles features the top-ranked Korean pair of Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seong; world champions Ko Sung-hyun and Shin Baek-choel, also of Korea; defending champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia; and three-time winners Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark.

 

For full Destination Dubai Rankings, visit: www.bwfbadminton.org/ranking.aspx?id=155&dt=4

 

Source: BWF (www.bwfbadminton.org); Editing by SportAsia

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