Yong-dae and Baek-cheol among the pairs to watch in Birmingham

KUALA LUMPUR: South Korean scratch pair of Lee Yong-dae-Shin Baek-cheol have put themselves among the pairs to watch in the All-England after making a point in the just concluded German Open.

In Mulheim, Yong-dae-Baek-cheol, who are playing in an international tournament as a pair for the first time, claimed the men’s doubles title beating Japanese Kenichi Hayakawa-Kenta Kazuno 21-13, 21-16 in the final last Sunday.

Yong-dae is with Baek-cheol because his regular partner, Jung Jae-sung, is not available because of his obligation to serve under the national military programme. Yong-dae-Jae-sung won the All-England title last year.

With Yong-dae-Baek-cheol’s recent exploits, they are seen as the dark horses to emerge as the All-England champions.

They are in the same half of the draw as Malaysia’s Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and England’s Anthony Clark-Nathan Robertson.

The absence of top seeds and Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia have further opened up the race to reach the final from this half of the draw. Yong-dae-Baek-cheol could be up against Zakry-Fairuzizuan in the semi-finals.

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