WORLD No.1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei is the notable absentee from the Asian Badminton Championships to be held at the newly built Siri Fort stadium next month. The $150,000 tournament will see world champion Lin Dan and 2004 Olympic gold medallist Taufik Hidayat leading the charge in men’s singles from April 12 to 18.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Badminton Association of India president V K Verma confirmed that Malaysia’s Lee would not be a part of the event. “I don’t have exact details, but it seems he (Lee) and Lin Dan avoid facing each other during major tournaments. Dan didn’t participate in the world championships the last time,” he said. “It’s also possible he skipped the meet due to his Thomas Cup training schedule.”
The men’s draw also features Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand and 2007 Asian Junior champion Chen Long, while Chetan Anand will lead the Indian challenge.
In the women’s draw, apart from world number six Saina Nehwal, world champion Lu Lan of China, Hong Kong’s Zhou Mi, China’s Wang Shixian and Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti will be vying for top honours.