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    Default News : China Seeded For Three Golds In Athens

    CHINA SEEDED FOR THREE GOLDS IN ATHENS


    International Badminton Federation


    For immediate release

    Thursday 22 July 2004



    China’s formidable squad look set to capture three golds in Athens next month, if the Olympic seeding lists released by the International Badminton Federation on Thursday are anything to go by.



    The final deadline for entries to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games passed on Wednesday, with badminton fulfilling its quota of 172 players at the Games.



    A total of 89 men and 83 women will be competing in Athens, representing 32 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) – a record number of countries for badminton at an Olympic Games.



    The seedings, based on the world ranking of 1 May 2004, see world number one shuttlers Lin Dan and Gong Ruina top the list of favourites in the singles events, while the Malaysia and Korea Open champions Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen are the top seeds in the women’s doubles competition.



    In men’s singles, Lin Dan is accompanied at the top of the seeding list by teammate Chen Hong – a surprise addition to the team at the expense of World Champion and Sydney bronze medallist Xia Xuanze – with Malaysia’s world silver medallist Wong Choong Hann and China’s Bao Chunlai seeded third and fourth.



    Hoping to exorcise his ghosts from Sydney where he lost out to Xia in the bronze medal play-off, Peter Gade is Europe’s best hope in this event, with a seeding at number six.



    Completing the eight seeded berths are Koreans Lee Hyun Il and Shon Seung Mo in fifth and seventh places respectively, and Indonesia’s former Asian Champion Sony Dwi Kuncoro in eighth.



    China’s stars could be on course for a clean sweep of medals in the women’s singles, as World Champion Zhang Ning and Zhou Mi join Gong Ruina to make up the top three seeded positions.



    The Netherlands’ European Champion Mia Audina – a silver medallist for Indonesia at the Atlanta Games – is the fourth favourite and highest-ranked European hope. Audina gold run in Sydney was cut short by Camilla Martin, who finds herself seeded in seventh place. Martin, 30, will be eager to improve in her Sydney silver medal in what will be one of her last events before retirement later this year.



    Danish eyes will also be on World Champions Lars Paaske and Jonas Rasmussen, who start as favourites in the men’s doubles event ahead of Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun in second place, and Korea’s charismatic Ha Tae Kwon and Kim Dong Moon who are seeded third.



    With Malaysia’s Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah ranked fourth, the seedings suggest a repeat of the Sydney 2000 bronze medal play-off which left the Malaysians empty-handed, while Indonesia will have to cause a few upsets if they’re to retain gold in this event – Luluk Hadiyanto-Yulianto Alven and Flandi Limpele-Eng Hian are the respective seventh and eighth seeds.



    The indomitable Koreans Kim Dong Moon and Ra Kyung Min are firm favourites heading into the mixed doubles event, and will be drawn to meet China’s Olympic champions and second seeds Zhang Jun and Gao Ling in the finals. Kim Yong Hyun and Lee Hyo Jung are seeded third, while fourth seeds Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms will be looking to at least match the bronze won by teammates Simon Archer and Jo Goode in Sydney.



    With their best ever contingent of players for an Olympic Games, Thailand’s best chance of success will rest in the mixed event, through fifth seeded Asian silver medallists Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam.



    Ra Kyung Min and Lee Kyung Won will be looking to prevent a Chinese 1-2-3 in the women’s doubles – seeded third, the Korean pair break up the three Chinese pairs Yang-Zhang, Gao-Huang and Wei-Zhao in first, second and fourth places.



    The Olympic badminton event will take place from 14-21 August – visit www.worldbadminton.net for all the action.





    ENDS.

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    so do you still think the seedings are based on an august ranking, or was i right when saying 1st of may

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