TWO-TIME Olympic champion Lin Dan of China has delayed his return to the international circuit by skipping the Japan Open but a repeat of last year’s final is on the cards as Lee Chong Wei and defending champion Chen Long will see action in Tokyo on Sept 18-23.
Chong Wei is the top seed while China’s Chen Long, bronze medalist in the London Olympics, will be seeded second in a met which also includes veterans Peter Gade Cristesen of Denmark and Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia.
Japanese duo Kenichi Tago and Sho Sasaki are the only ranked outsiders who are capable of denying a Chong Wei-Chen Long final but current form suggests otherwise.
Other withdrawals, including Chen Jin of China, has given Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng a chance to play in the main draw while Zulfadli Zulkifli will play in the qualifying rounds.
Olympic champions Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China are the top drawcards in the men’s doubles where they are expected to meet London Games silver medalists Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen in the final.
Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong also return to international competition and are the fourth seeds while Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah and Tan Wee Kiong-Hoon Thien How are the other two national pairs competing in the super series event.
The mixed doubles field looks weak with World No 6 Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thungthongkam the highest ranked combination while Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, the World No 8, are the second seeds.