Kuala Lumpur: World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was drawn to potentially face defending champion Chen Long of China in the 2017 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships quarter-finals.
The draw for the year’s biggest badminton tournament was conducted at the BWF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. The Malaysian badminton superstar, who is bidding to win his first World Championships title, was drawn in the same half as two-times champion Chen Long, with five-time winner Lin Dan placed in the top half.
Lee will kick off the tournament against Frenchman Brice Leverdez who defeated him in the 2016 Denmark Open quarter-finals. If Lee could get past Chen Long, he might play either Viktor Axelsen of Denmark or Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan in the semi-finals. Chen will meet Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius in the first round.
Five-time World champion Lin Dan of China will start his campaign against Kieran Merrilees of Scotland. His quarterfinal foe could be teammate Shi Yuqi, who eliminated Lin in straight sets at the 2017 All England semi-finals.
Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) Technical Director Morten Frost admitted Lee Chong Wei will have to do things the hard way if he is to win his maiden World Championships.
“Lee Chong Wei was handed a tough draw to face Chen Long in the last eight. But if he wants to win the World Championships, he’ll have to beat everybody,” said Frost.
“Although a Lee Chong Wei – Lin Dan final is a possibility in this year’s world meet, but World No. 1 Son Wan Ho could relish his role as spoiler in Lin Dan’s half as he is a solid fighter,” added Frost.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong could potentially clash with top seeds Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China in the quarter-finals.