Birmingham: No. 1 seed Chen Long made a flying start to bid for his third All England men’s singles title with a 21-18, 21-12 rout of Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto, while two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan cruised to a 21-17, 21-17 win against Lee Dong Keun of Korea on Wednesday.
Defending champion Chen Long, five-time winner Lin Dan and three-time champion Lee Chong Wei have dominated the prestigious event for the last twelve years, lifting the trophy ten times between them.
The world number one Chen Long showed why he is the firm favorite to defend his title, demolishing Kenta Nishimoto in 54 minutes to record a victory on his first career meeting against his Japanese opponent.
Lin Dan, seeking his sixth All England title, eased into the second round with a straight-set win against South Korean Lee Dong Keun in 58 minutes.
Chen Long will face compatriot Xue Song in second round, while Lin Dan will next face Sho Sasaki whom he defeated in the quarter-finals of German Open last week.
After Lee Chong Wei’s shocking defeat, both Chen Long and Lin Dan will have higher chances to win this year’s All England title.
In women’s competition, defending champion Carolina Marin was also found herself in early troubles.
The reigning World champion from Spain surviving an almighty scare when she had to save a game point in the first game by winning 25-23; then failed to convert two match point by losing the second set 20-22, before she ramped up her performance and advanced safely to the second round by beating World No. 15 South Korean Bae Yeon-Ju 21-15 in the third set.
“I injured my shoulder last week, and I played poorly today. I’m glad I won the match,” said Marin.
Carolina will face Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia on Thursday.