KUALA LUMPUR — A clash against either Chen Long or Lin Dan at a Major tournament is almost unavoidable but playing them as early as the quarterfinals is unthinkable for Lee Chong Wei.
It may be the case for Chong Wei if the seedings released by Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the World Championships from Aug 21-Aug 27 are any indication.
Chong Wei has been seeded second while Chen Long, seeking a hattrick of World titles in Glasgow, is the fifth and five-time world champion Lin Dan is the seventh seed.
Chong Wei had suffered in the hands of the China duo in the last four editions but this would be the first time the Malaysian could face them early in the tournament.
Lin Dan denied Chong Wei glory in 2011 when he defeated him 20–22, 21–14, 23–21 in the final in London.
In 2013, Chong Wei succumbed to cramps during the final against Lin Dan in the third game, losing 16–21, 21–13, 20–17 (rtd) to miss out on the title.
Chen Long took over from there as Chong Wei lost the 2014 final 21-19, 21-19 in Copenhagen before retaining his title in Jakarta with a 21-14, 21-17 win a year later.
This could be the 35-year-old Malaysian’s last shot at winning the Major title and Chong Wei would be hoping that his reunion with former coach Misbun Sidek to change his fortunes in Glasgow.
South Korea’s Son Wan Ho is the top seed for the men’s singles while Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen and China’s Shi Yuqi are the third and fourth seeds respectively.
The other top eights seeds are Taiwan’s Chou Tien Chen (sixth) and India’s K. Srikanth (eighth).
In the men’s doubles, Rio Olympics silver medallists Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are the only seeded Malaysian pair at No 5.
The pair will be aiming to improve in their 2015 performance where they lost in the third round.
In the mixed doubles, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing are the only Malaysian pair to be seeded at No 8.
Rio Olympics silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goph Liu Ying will not be competing as the latter is recovering from a shoulder surgery.