Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton Superstar Lee Chong Wei avoided his two biggest rivals in the 2016 All England draw released on Tuesday as the two Chinese shuttlers have been drawn in the same half of the draw, while Lee Chong Wei and Japanese Kento Momota could potentially meet in the other semifinal.
Lee Chong Wei, a three-time champ at the All England, will open his bid for a fourth title at the Barclaycard Arena with a first-round tilt with India’s Parupalli Kashyap.
The Malaysian would face Wang Zhengming in the second round, either Tommy Sugiarto or Chou Tien Chen in the quarter-finals and potentially Kento Momota in the semi-finals if the seeds hold.
On the other hand, Chen Long will play against a qualifier on day 1 of main draw while Lin Dan will open with Lee Dong Keun of Korea in the first round. Chen Long is slated to face Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the quarter-finals, and another Dane Jan O Jorgensen will cross sword with Lin Dan for a semi-final berth.
In women’s singles, No. 1 seed Carolina Marin and No. 2 seed Saina Nehwal were placed on the opposite side of the bracket. However, the women’s draw set up some intriguing possibilities that Carolina Marin has to get past Ratchanok Intanon or Wang Yihan while Saina Nehwal has to fight past Li Xuerui, Sung JiHyun or Wang Shixian just to get to the final.
In men’s doubles tournament, Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong could come up against No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan in the second round. On the opposite half, No. 1 seeds Lee Yong-Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong are looking at possibly Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen in the semi-finals.
The YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament, and the 2016 edition will run from March 8 to March 13 at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, England.