Sunday, July 22, 2012 | | By: Febi

Big day for shuttlers

OUTLOOK: Malaysia's hopes of a medal hinge on today's draw

Lee Chong Wei has what it takes to reach the final to fight for gold against Lin Dan. 

BEING the top seed has its perks and Lee Chong Wei should receive a favourable draw for the Olympics  when it is conducted in London today.

.The seeding will be based on the May 3 world rankings, which were also used to decide the Olympic qualification. As the then World No 1, Chong Wei will receive top billing ahead of his nemesis, Lin Dan of China.

The position should give Chong Wei, whose progress has been hampered by an ankle injury in May, an advantage as there is a strong possibility of avoiding third seed Chen Long of China, who has troubled him in recent times, in the semi-finals should both justify their seedings.

This means Chong Wei will most likely meet Lin Dan's fourth-seeded compatriot Chen Jin in the last four which will give the Malaysian a good opportunity to advance to the final.

But a tricky quarter-final awaits the Malaysian as Chong Wei could face either seventh seed Lee Hyun Il of South Korea, the player Chong Wei beat in the 2008 semi-finals, or Japan's Kenichi Tago.

The group stage is not expected to be a struggle for Chong Wei as he will have only one player in his group and a win will see him advance to the second round where he could meet Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong whom the top seed has beaten on two occasions.

Lin Dan's path also looks clear and the in-form defending champion should have an easy ride until the semi-final stage where he is likely to face compatriot Chen Long.

Despite Chong Wei carrying an injury, he has what it takes to reach the final to fight for gold against Lin Dan. That in itself reflects the Malaysia's class.

A total of 40 players in the men's singles will be pooled in 16 groups and each of the winners will advance to the last 16.

Men's doubles Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong can expect a hard time and could begin their campaign in the same group as top seeds Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng of China.

However, all is not lost as they should get two weaker pairs in their group and should claim second spot and advance to the quarter-finals.

The 16 pairs will be drawn into four groups where the top two pairs will progress to the last eight.
Kien Keat-Boon Heong should avoid Cai Yun-Haifeng until the final if they are drawn in the same group.

However, it will get tougher as they will either meet third seeds Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen of Denmark or fourth seeds Ko Sung Hyun-Yoo Yeon Seong of South Korea in the last eight.

If they survive, they could face South Korean second seeds Chung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae in the quarter-finals.


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