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Friday April 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 1:01:53 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: China, having named an impressive line-up, are expected to make a clean sweep in the Asian Badminton Championships in Taiwan from April 16-21.
Even without their two most prominent shuttler – reigning Olympic champions Lin Dan and Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng – China have been given top billing in all the events, except for the men’s doubles.
Apart from banking on All-England champion Chen Long in the men’s singles, China’s other top seeds are Li Xuerui (women’s singles), Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (women’s doubles) and Xu Chen-Ma jin (mixed doubles).
In men’s doubles, China can count on reigning All-England champions Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan to challenge the Koreans and Indonesians.
China have decided to field a strong team because the ABC is the last tournament that offers valuable ranking points towards qualification for the World Championships in Guangzhou, China, in August. China are eyeing a clean sweep at the world meet too.
Malaysia will be hard-pressed to win any titles as they’ve not included world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and top men’s pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the tournament.
In Chong Wei’s absence, Malaysia will be banking on Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.
But the trio may not even make it to the quarter-finals. In the same quarter with Wei Feng is Japan’s Sho Sasaki; Daren has second seed Du Pengyu of China for company; and Arif has two main challengers – Wang Zhengming of China and Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk – in his last eight battle.
Malaysia have also named second stringers Goh Soon Huat, Loh Wei Sheng and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin but the trio will have to play exceptionally well to make their presence felt. In men’s doubles, Malaysia have named three pairs – Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah, Ong Jian Guo-Teo Kok Siang and Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi – but it’ll be quite difficult for them from the start.
Without world No. 3 mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the squad,it will be difficult to hope for surprises in this event. Malaysia’s representatives – Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing and Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo are inexperienced and have yet to prove themselves.
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Others, Sport, Sport, Sport, Badminton, China clean sweep, in ABC
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