Malaysian badminton fans will be closely following proceedings at the World Championships which gets underway on Copenhagen tomorrow. Their attention will be primarily focused on world No.1, Datuk Lee Chong Wei, who will be aiming to land his first world title.
The Penangite skipped the Glasgow Commonwealth Games to nurse his thigh injury he sustained in the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May to ensure a strong recovery ahead of the World Championships. It was a good decision to sit out Glasgow and concentrate on the world meet.
Chong Wei, Malaysia’s hottest badminton property, is primed for the title but he will face some stiff opposition along the way. He will open his campaign in the first round opponent against South Korean Lee Dong Keun whom he beat 21-11, 21-8 at last year’s Denmark Open. The Malaysian is expected to meet India’s newly crowned Commonwealth Games champion P. Kashyap in the second round. He has beaten the Indian in all their four previous meetings.
In the quarter-finals the Malaysian is expected to meet either China’s Wang Zhengming (6th seed) or Japan’s former world junior champion Kento Momota. His semi-final opponent is most likely to be Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen (3rd seed) following the withdrawal of Indonesia’s Simon Santoso, winner of the Singapore Open. Simon is down with dengue fever,
If all goes according to plans, Chong Wei is expected to meet China’s Chen Long, the second seed, in the final which is scheduled for Aug 31, Merdeka Day. They have meet 17 times with Chen Long winning eight times.
Malaysia’s other representative in the men’s singles is Chong Wei Feng who will open his campaign with a match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph.