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Badminton: Malaysia’s Lee, China’s Li top seeds at BWF Worlds

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has a golden opportunity to win his first BWF World Championships after Lin Dan didn’t qualify for the Copenhagen event. Photo: AFP.

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has a golden opportunity to win his first BWF World Championships after Lin Dan didn’t qualify for the Copenhagen event. Photo: AFP.

August 9, 2014: Current World No. 1s Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Li Xuerui of China are the top seeds in men’s and women’s singles respectively for the upcoming Li-Ning BWF World Championships, which will be held in Copenhagen from August 25-31.

 

Both players lost in the finals of last year’s event in Guangzhou, although Lee’s chances of a first World Championships title have increased after five-time champion Lin Dan of China didn’t qualify for the Copenhagen event.

 

World No. 2 Chen Long of China is at the other end of the men’s singles draw as the second seed, while third seed Jan Jorgensen of Denmark will hope to make the most of home advantage at Ballerup Super Arena.

 

Kenichi Tago of Japan and Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto – seeded fourth and fifth respectively – will also fancy their chances of succeeding Lin, who won last year despite rarely playing competitive tournaments in the year after his Olympic success.

 

Wang Zhengming of China, Son Wan-ho of Korea, Du Pengyu of China, Hong Kong’s Hu Yun and Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark round out the top 10 of 16 seeds in the 64-strong field.

 

In the women’s, Li’s compatriots Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan are seeded second and third, while defending champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand is the fourth seed. The 19-year-old is followed by Koreans Sung Ji-hyun and Bae Yeon-ju, a resurgent Saina Nehwal of India and Tai Tzu-ying of Chinese Taipei.

 

Spain’s Carolina Marin is the highest-placed European in the women’s singles draw at nine, while Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand is 10th. India’s P.V. Sindhu, last year’s bronze medallist, is the 11th of 16 seeds in 48-strong field.

 

Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia are the defending champions and top seeds in the men’s doubles, which features 48 pairs. However, second-seeded Koreans Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yeon-seon have clinched the last three MetLife BWF World Superseries tournaments and boast an impressive 5-1 record over the Indonesians.

 

Danish pair Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen are the third seeds, ahead of Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa of Japan and Korea’s Kim Ki-jung and Kim Sa-rang. Lee Sheng-mu and Tsai Chia-hsin of Chinese Taipei, Malaysia’s reunited union of Hoon Thien How and Commonwealth doubles gold medallist Tan Wee Kiong, and China’s Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan are sixth, seven and eighth respectively.

 

China’s Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua are top seeds in the women’s doubles after their outstanding performances in the past nine months, while second seeds Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl will enjoy huge home support.

 

Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi are seeded third followed by last year’s winners, China’s Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, the latter bidding for her fourth World Championships women’s doubles title.

 

Olympic champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei and Chinese compatriots Xu Chen and Ma Jin are seeded first and second in the mixed doubles. Last year Xu and Ma squandered two match points in the final against Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, who have withdrawn from this year’s event due to an ankle injury Ahmad suffered in June.

 

Pedersen and the evergreen Joachim Fischer Nielsen will be the third seeds, while England’s Chris and Gabrielle Adcock are seeded fourth as they seek to follow up their Commonwealth Games gold.

 

Copenhagen previously hosted the World Championships in 1983, 1991 and 1999.

 

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

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