The draw for the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 – the 25th edition of the world’s premier badminton event – was conducted today at the BWF head office in Kuala Lumpur.
Men’s singles defending champion Kento Momota’s quarter includes five-time champion Lin Dan, Malaysian hope Lee Zii Jia and India’s HS Prannoy.
In women’s singles, top seed Akane Yamaguchi might have to contend with 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon in her quarter, while second seed Tai Tzu Ying is seeded to clash with two-time runner-up Pusarla V. Sindhu in the quarterfinals.
Among the interesting first-round match-ups in men’s singles are five-time champion Lin versus fellow-veteran Nguyen Tien Minh, Lee Zii Jia versus Ygor Coelho and second seed Chou Tien Chen versus Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.
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 Choong Hann expressed optimism: “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.
“Climate-wise, there is no problem as it will be summer (in Basel). It’s a long journey, and we will be there a few days earlier. We are seasoned touring players. We will aim for at least a medal.
“I think men’s singles is the most open (category) because of the absence of Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yu Qi, 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.”
TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 Draw
Mixed doubles ace Shevon Lai Jemie was hopeful of a good showing in Basel, but acknowledged that the two top pairs, Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong and Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping, were the pairs 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 Høyer welcomed the invitees to the draw and wished the players competing at the tournament.
“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 Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I wish all the players the best of luck,” said Høyer.