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    Post Chong Wei set to make World Championships debut as fifth seed

    Two-time Malaysian Open champion Lee Chong Wei will feature in his first-ever World Championships as the fifth ranked men's singles player.

    In the ranking list released by the International Badminton Federation (IBF) yesterday, the 22-year-old Chong Wei moved up three rungs – thanks to his sensational three-game win over China's Lin Dan in the final of the Malaysian Open on Sunday.

    The seedings for the World Championships, which will be played in Anaheim, California, from Aug 15-21, will be based on the Aug 4 world rankings.

    With no Open tournaments on the international circuit over the next two weeks, there is unlikely to be any major change in the rankings by then.


    If Chong Wei remains at number five, he will have one of the top four ranked players in his quarter of the draw in the World Championships.

    The top four in the latest rankings are Lin Dan at number one followed by Danes Kenneth Jonassen and Peter Gade-Christensen and another Chinese, Bao Chunlai.

    Chong Wei was ranked at number four going into the Singapore Open, which preceded the Malaysian Open.

    “I would have been among the top four if not for the third-round defeat in Singapore (he lost to South Korean Lee Hyun-il),” said Chong We yesterday.

    “Fortunately, I defended my title in the Malaysian Open and climbed back from eighth to fifth position.

    “If I am seeded fifth and get to the quarter-finals of the world championships, I am likely to play one of the top four.

    “I have beaten Lin Dan and I have a good record against Chunlai (he won all four times). I have played against Peter twice and won on both occasions. Against Kenneth, I have beaten him twice in three matches. I will be ready to play against any one of them.”

    If the rankings remain unchanged, Lin Dan will be the top seed and he will have Gade-Christensen in the same half of the draw. The other half will have Jonassen and Chunlai.

    Malaysia will also have another seeded player in the men's singles draw. Mohd Hafiz Hashim has dropped two rungs to number eight and a possible match between him and Chong Wei can only happen if they both qualify for the final.

    Wong Choong Hann, the 2003 World Championships runner-up is ranked at number 10, and he will not be seeded in the world championships.

    Malaysia will also have seeded players in the men's doubles and women's doubles events.

    Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat, who were the quarter-finalists in the Malaysian Open, remained at number eight. The top national women's pair of Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui are now in seventh spot.

    Malaysia will be represented by their largest number of players in the championships. A total of 23 players will make the trip to California.

    LATEST TOP EIGHT RANKINGS

    * Malaysians unless stated

    Men's singles: 1. Lin Dan (Chn), 2. Kenneth Jonassen (Den), 3. Peter Gade-Christensen (Den), 4. Bao Chunlai (Chn), 5. Lee Chong Wei, 6. Taufik Hidayat (Ina), 7. Chen Hong (Chn), 8. Mohd Hafiz Hashim.

    Men's doubles: 1. Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen (Den), 2. Candra Wijaya-Sigit Budiarto (Ina), 3. Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun (Chn), 4. Luluk Hadiyanto-Alven Yulianto (Ina), 5. Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den), 6. Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (Den), 7. Jung Jae-sung-Lee Jae-jin (Kor), 8. Chan Chong Ming-Koo Kien Keat.

    Women's singles: 1. Zhang Ning (Chn), 2. Xie Xingfang (Chn), 3. Pi Hongyan (Fra), 4. Wang Chen (Hkg), 5. Yao Jie (Ned), 6. Xu Huaiwen (Ger), 7. Tracey Hallam (Eng), 8. Zhou Mi (Chn).

    Women's doubles: 1. Yang Wei-Zhang Jiewen (Chn), 2. Gao Ling-Huang Sui (Chn), 3. Wei Yili-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 4. Lee Kyung-won-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 5. Zhang Dan-Zhang Yawen (Chn), 6. S. Saralee-C. Sathinee (Tha), 7. Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui, 8. Gail Emms-Donna Kellogg (Eng).

    Mixed doubles: 1. Nathan Robertson-Gail Emms (Eng), 2. Zhang Jun-Gao Ling (Chn), 3. Chen Qiqiu-Zhao Tingting (Chn), 4. Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir (Ina), 5. Jens Eriksen-Mette Scholdager (Den), 6. Lee Jae-jin-Lee Hyo-jung (Kor), 7. Sudket Prapakamol-T. Saralee (Tha). 8. Robert Blair-Natalie Munt (Eng).
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