The Badminton World Federation (BWF) released the entries list for the upcoming Malaysian Open (May 25-30), boasting a mouth-watering line-up including Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen among other world-class names.
The provisional list released by the world body also included the likes of Chinese shuttlers such as Chen Long and Shi Yuqi, who have not featured in any international competition since early last year.
The men’s singles event, which usually draws the brightest limelight, has all the makings of a feisty affair, with Momota, Anders Antonsen, Chou Tien-chen and the return of Indonesian duo Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie.
Not forgetting Lee Zii Jia, who will be out to build on his All-England success.
In the women’s singles, world number one Tai Tyu-ying will look to fend off stiff competition from Chen Yu Fei, Nozomi Okuhara and Carolina Marin, who is buoyed with the release of her new biography.
P.V.Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have also been slated to participate, even though the Indian contingent’s status of travelling outside the country is still unclear on the back of steady rising daily cases.
In the men’s doubles, returning Indonesians Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Gideon Marcus Fernaldi will be intent on triumphing in Malaysia for the fourth time, amid tough competition from their Japanese counterparts.
Malaysian pairs Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong are also fired up to impress after falling short on previous occasions.
In the women’s doubles, Swiss Open champions Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah will look to continue their good run along with Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean.
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are the country’s biggest hopes in the mixed doubles, with top contenders Zheng Si Wei-Huang Ya Qiong and Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai the favourites.
As of now, the Malaysia Open is firmly set to go ahead.
The Sports Ministry also said it would be possible for fans to attend the matches by adhering to strict standard operating procedures.
The return of football fans to venues nationwide in the Malaysian league was seen as a ‘proof of concept’ for other sporting tournaments to follow suit.