Sports\Team China

All-conquering Chen going for gold

China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-21 07:55

GLASGOW - Chin's Chen Long and Spain's Carolina Marin are gunning for their fourth majors titles in a row at the World Badminton Championships starting on Monday in Glasgow.

Both stars arrive in Scotland after winning world singles titles and Olympic gold in Rio.

Chen is only seeded fifth behind world No 1 Son Wanho, veteran Lee Chong Wei, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yuqi.

And the 28-year-old also has a tough draw, with archrival Lee looming in the quarterfinals.

Lee, who will be 35 in October, won his fourth All-England Open title this season and the hope for Malaysia is that he continues in the game until the next Olympics, and wins the elusive gold medal in Tokyo in 2020.

He took silver in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

South Korea's Son, the new world No 1, spearheaded his country to victory in the Sudirman Cup in May, and winning the individual world title in Glasgow is his season's priority.

"It is my target for the year," confirmed the 29-year-old, who has never gone beyond the quarterfinals.

"I want to do much better than I have down at past world championships."

Lin Dan, the five-time world champion, is seeded seventh this year, and he could be classed as the opening-round villain as his first opponent is Scotland's No 1 Kieran Merrilees.

Lin has happy memories of Glasgow. He led China to the 2007 Sudirman Cup triumph at the nearby Scotstoun Centre - ten years on, he remains one of the stars of the game.

Marin, meanwhile, is seeded third in the women's singles. Heading the seedings are the respective world No 2 and 3, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi and South Korea's Sung Ji-hyun.

Marin has already tasted success at Emirates Arena, winning the 2013 Scottish Open and her relative lack of success this season, resulting in a drop to No 4 in the world, does not affect her confidence.

"I always focus on a single tournament," said the 24-year-old, indicating that Glasgow 2017 is the one.

"I haven't won a Super Series title this year, but it was similar last year and I won the biggest one of all."

China's Li Jinhui and Liu Yuchen are favorites in the men's doubles, Japan's Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi are top seeds in the women's doubles and China's Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen head the mixed rankings.

Agence France-Presse

(China Daily 08/21/2017 page23)

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