Kuala Lumpur, Aug 5 : The draw for the 2019 BWF World Championships in Basel, Switzerland was released Monday at the BWF head office in Kuala Lumpur.
In the men's singles, five-time champion Lin Dan of China will meet last year's winner Kento Momota of Japan, along with Malaysian hope Lee Zii Jia and India's HS Prannoy.
In the women's side of the draw, top seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan may have to compete with 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in her quarter, while second seed Tai Tzu Ying from Chinese Taipei is seeded to clash with two-time runner-up Pusarla V Sindhu of India in the quarterfinals.
Among the interesting first-round match-ups in men's singles are Lin Dan versus Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh, Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia against Brazilian Ygor Coelho and second seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei taking on Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark.
The electronic draw was witnessed by Wong Choon Hann, High Performance Director of Badminton Association of Malaysia, and some of the Malaysian contenders at the World Championships - Lee Zii Jia, Shevon Lai Jemie and Goh Soon Huat.
Speaking of his players' chances after the draw, Wong was optimistic. "It's a fair draw for us in all departments. Lee Zii Jia has a good chance against top players. We're looking at him to clear the early rounds and play Kento Momota. We have to prepare ourselves for the big stage."
"I think men's singles is the most open [category] because of the absence of Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yuqi, and Lee Chong Wei is also not competing for the first time in a long while. A lot of upcoming youngsters like Anders Antonsen, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Jonatan Christie and Lee Zii Jia are there. Of course the giants are Kento Momota and Chou Tien Chen. In recent tournaments they have put their foot down."
Mixed doubles ace Shevon Lai Jemie was hopeful of a good showing in Basel, but acknowledged that the two top pairs, China's Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong and Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping, were the duos to beat.
"They are fast and powerful. Usually the female players are weaker, but with the Chinese, the female players are strong as well, and the boys are very fast."
Earlier, BWF President Poul-Erik Hoyer welcomed the invitees to the draw and wished the competing players well.
"We are delighted to be celebrating the 25th edition of our Badminton World Championships. The event has come a long way since the first edition in Malmo, Sweden, in 1977. This year it returns to Switzerland for the first time since 1995 when it was staged in Lausanne."
"The tournament also comes at a critical time for our athletes as they continue their quest to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. I wish all the players the best of luck," said Hoyer.(XINHUA)