Kuala Lumpur: Badminton fans hoping for a third straight Olympic final between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan will be disappointed by Tuesday’s men’s draw for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Lee, the world No. 1 from Malaysia, was placed in the same half as record two-time Olympic winner Lin Dan of China, meaning a potential semifinal battle may ensue instead.
The Malaysian badminton superstar was drawn in Group A, together with World No. 63 Derek Wong of Singapore and World No. 284 Soren Opti of Surinam.
Should Lee tops Group A, he will receive a bye in the final 16, and may face No. 6 seed Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan or No. 10 seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Lin Dan was grouped together with Vlaidmir Malkov of Russia, David Obernosterer of Austria, and Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in Group E. Lin who is expected to top Group E, could face Jan Jorgensen of Denmark – a player he is not willing to come face to face with, especially when Lin has lost to Jorgensen in their last 2 encounters.
Lin lost to Jorgensen in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Championships 12-21, 15-21 and Jorgensen handed Lin Dan one of the worst lost in his illustrated career when the Dane beat Lin Dan 21-17, 21-4 in the quarter-finals of the 2016 Malaysia Open.
As for World No. 2 Chen Long, he was given a relatively easy draw. He should be able to reach the men’s singles semi-final with ease and could face No. 4 seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the men’s semi-finals.
Groupings of men’s singles shuttlers at the Rio Games:
Group A: Lee Chong Wei (1), Soren Opti, Derek Wong Zi Liang
Group B: (Empty)
Group C: Chou Tien Chen (6), Tan Yuhan, Misha Zilberman
Group D: Hu Yun (10), Pablo Abian, Jaspar Woon Chai Yu
Group E: Lin Dan (3), Vladimir Malkov, David Obernosterer, Nguyen Tien Minh
Group F: (Empty)
Group G: Jan O Jorgensen (5), Raul Must, Brice Leverdez
Group H: Srikanth Kidambi (9), Henri Hurskainen, Lino Munoz
Group I: Rajiv Ouseph (13), Sho Sasaki, Petr Koukal
Group J: Tommy Sugiarto (7), Howard Shu, Osleni Guerrero
Group K: Marc Zwiebler (12), Scott Evans, Ygor Coelho De Oliveira
Group L: Viktor Axelsen (4), Lee Dong Keun, Boonsak Ponsana
Group M: Angus Ng Ka Long (11), Pedro Martins, Martin Giuffre
Group N: Son Wan Ho (8), Artem Pochtarev, Jacob Maliekal
Group O: (Empty)
Group P: Chen Long (2), Kevin Cordon, Adrian Dziolko, Niluka Karunaratne