Star online : ABC 2009
PETALING JAYA: China will be parading a relatively strong singles cast for the Asian Badminton Championships in Suwon, South Korea, from April 7-12.
And that is bad news for the Malaysian back-up shuttlers, who are hoping to impress in the last competition in Asia before the end of the qualifying period for the World Championships in Hyderabad in August.
Olympic champion Lin Dan is not in the team but China have Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai to make strong challenges.
Their current batch of juniors, comprising Qiu Yanbo, Lu Yi, Chen Long, Du Pengyu and Zhou Wenlong, are expected to help clear the way for Chen Jin and Chunlai as they battle it out to become the first Chinese player to win the men’s singles crown since 2001.
Defending champion Park Sung-hwan is not in the fray while Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Taufik Hidayat are absent, too.
With world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei skipping the meet, the Malaysian challenge will be led by Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Kuan Beng Hong.