Lee Chong Wei to play Japan Open without Lin Dan & Chen Long

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Lee Chong Wei receives a relatively good draw for the 2016 Japan Open. (photo: AFP)

Kuala Lumpur: World No. 1 Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei, Denmark’s World No. 4 Viktor Axelsen and World No. 5 Jan Jorgensen will be among the players competing for the Japan Open Superseries in Tokyo that will be held from September 20th to September 25th.Lee Chong Wei receives a relatively good draw for the 2016 Japan Open. (photo: AFP)

As the first Superseries tournament after the Olympics, China has decided to rest its top two men’s singles players namely Chen Long and Lin Dan from the tournament. Instead, China would only send its second tier shuttlers such as Tian Houwei, Huang Yuxiang, Xue Song, and Shi Yuqi in men’s singles, and He Bingjiao, Sun Yu in women’s singles to participate in the tournament.

No. 1 seed Lee Chong Wei was placed in the top half of draw together with Tian Houwei of China, Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia and Kidambi Srikanth of India. Lee will kick off his opener against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand and may play either Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark or compatriot Zulfadli Zulkiffli in the second round and most likely will take on Tommy Sugiarto in the quarter-finals.

However, the second-seeded Viktor Axelsen got a more favorable draw, with No. 3 seed Jan Jorgensen was placed in the other half as his potential semifinal opponent.

In women’s singles, Olympic champion Carolina Marin was handed the No. 1 seed. Marin seems likely to face her opponent in the Olympic final – P.V Sindhu of India in the quarter-finals of Japan Open.

Meanwhile, in men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Olympic silver medalists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong face uphill battle in Tokyo as they will clash with Indonesia’s No. 2 seeds Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan in the semi-finals.

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