Seoul: The Victor Korea Open Badminton Championships will see quite a few stars when the total USD $600,000 prize money event kicks off the qualifying and mixed doubles first round in Seoul on Tuesday. Qualifiers who reach third round of qualifying will automatically be included in the main draw. Most of the Korea Open main-draw matches will start on September 16, finish on September 20.
Both Lin Dan who won the Japan Open Superseries last Sunday, and the defending champion Chen Long are scheduled to open play on Wednesday.
However, big names such as Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Kenichi Tago of Japan will have to make themselves eligible for the main draw through qualifying rounds.
Lee will take on Heo Kwang Hee from Korea in the first qualifying, and could potentially clash with Kenichi Tago for a spot in the main draw.
Should Lee advance to the main draw, a match with Marc Zwiebler will await him in the first round of Korea Open. Players such as Kidambi Srikanth, Chou Tien Chen, Viktor Axelsen and Tian Houwei are grouped in the same half as Lee in the men’s division. While Lin Dan and Chen Long are in opposite half of Korea Open draw, and both will set up their Korea Open clash in the quarter-finals.
Another Malaysian men’s singles shuttler Zulfadli Zulkiffli will also begin his quest for Korea Open title from the qualifying round. He will play Tommy Sugiarto in the first round on Wednesday if he advances to the main draw.
In men’s doubles, Malaysian pairs Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boo Heong will play Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge of England in the men’s doubles first round, while Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong will face Jun Bong Chan/Kim Dae Eun of Korea on Wednesday.
Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying and Tan Aik Quan/Lai Pei Jing will open their first round matches on Tuesday. Chan and Goh are expecting a stern challenge from No. 6 seeds Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong when both pairs face-off in the first round of mixed doubles. On the other hand, Tan and Lai will have to roll past Jacco Arends/Selena Piek of Netherlands in order to set up a potential second round mixed doubles clash with either No. 4 seeds Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin of China or Kim Gi Jung/Shin Seung Chan of Korea.