Kuala Lumpur: Despite speculation that World No. 1 men’s singles player Lee Chong Wei’s spot in the season-ending Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Superseries Finals was in jeopardy after his withdrawal from French Open, China Open and Hong Kong Open, the latest Destination Dubai Rankings published by BWF showed both Lee and the World No. 1 men’s pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong were the only Malaysians who have made the cut in the year-ending USD $1 million event.
After two-year absence from the event, Lee who had won the tournament in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, will be looking forward to his fifth World Superseries Finals title this year. China will only be sending Tian Houwei and Chen Long to the event. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion Lin Dan did not rack up enough points to play in Dubai.
Only the top eight players after the 12 legs of the Superseries events could qualify to play in the Dubai Finals and Lee Chong Wei was ranked seventh in the Superseries standings.
Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen was seeded top in the men’s list, followed by Son Wan-ho (South Korea), Tian Houwei (China), Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong), Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Marc Zwiebler (Germany), Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long (China, Wild Card as Olympic Gold Medalist 2016).
Chen Long of China who won the gold at Rio Olympic was awarded a wildcard for his feat in Brazil.
In men’s doubles, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem / Tan Wee Kiong have made it to Dubai from Dec 14-18 as they were seeded second in the rankings. Takeshi Kamura / Keigo Sonoda of Japan were leading the men’s doubles, while Chai Biao / Hong Wei of China were in third. Indonesians Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Angga Pratama / Ricky Karanda Suwardi were ranked No. 4 and 5, followed by Mads Conrad-Petersen / Mads Pieler Kolding, Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen of Denmark. China’s Fu Haifeng / Zhang Nan were rewarded a wild card as they are the reigning Olympic Gold champions.
After early exits at the Hong Kong Open in Kowloon, Malaysia’s women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei and mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying were listed as the first and second reserve pairs in their respective categories.