SINGAPORE: Several of China’s top singles players have said they will not be taking part in this year’s Li—Ning Singapore Open.
The Singapore Badminton Association was notified that men’s world number three Chen Long, women’s world number two Wang Xin, number three Li Xuerui, number four Wang Shixian and former world champion Wang Lin would be giving the tournament a miss.
China’s charge in the men’s singles competition will be led by world number 10 Du Pengyu, while world number seven Jiang Yanjian is the highest—ranked Chinese in the women’s singles competition.
Despite this, organisers said the competition, which will be held from June 19 to 24, will still feature 38 of the world’s top ranked shuttlers from around the world, all preparing for the London Olympics in July.
"We are eagerly anticipating the start of the 25th edition of the Li—Ning Singapore Open. With about 70 Olympic—bound shuttlers coming to our shores, fans can look forward to world class badminton action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium," said Mr Ng Yoke Weng, Organising Chairman of the Li—Ning Singapore Open.
World number six Sho Sasaki and world number seven Tago Kenichi will fly the flag for Japan, while Korea’s top player and world number seven Lee Hyun Il and top Indonesian shuttler Simon Santoso, the world number nine, will also be contesting the men’s singles competition of the Singapore Open.
China’s Jiang will meanwhile face fierce competition from Cheng Shao Chieh, the world number 10 from Taiwan, and Korean world number nine Sung Ji Hyun in the women’s singles competition.
The doubles competitions will also see a high—class field of competitors.
Top Korean pair and world number two Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae will be joined by compatriots and world number four Ko Sung Hyun and Yoo Yeon Seong in the men’s doubles.
The likes of Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano and Indonesian former world and Olympic champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan are expected to put on a strong challenge for the title as well.
The Koreans are also well—represented in the women’s doubles, with world number three pairing Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung and world number six Jung Kyung Eun and Kim Ha Na confirming their participation.
But Japan will put up a stiff challenge for the title, with three pairs in the world’s top 10 expecting to feature heavily in the final rounds. They are Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito, and Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna.