TheStar May 22 PETALING JAYA: With seedings for the World Championships at stake, the Proton Malaysian Open badminton championships have attracted some of the world’s best players. The four-star US$120,000 Malaysian Open will be held in Kuching, Sarawak, from June 13-18. It is one of the last four major tournaments before the world meet, scheduled to be held in Madrid from Sept 18-24. The Open tournaments after the Kuching tournament are in Taiwan, Macau and Thailand. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) said China, who emerged as the Thomas Cup champions in Japan recently, have named their top three men singles players – Lin Dan, Chen Hong and Chen Jin for the tournament. Their aim is to wrest the title from Malaysia’s world number two Lee Chong Wei. The 24-year-old Chong Wei has won the title for the last two years. In last year’s Malaysian Open, Chong Wei defeated Lin Dan to win the title. After his failure to win a crucial point for Malaysia in their 2-3 defeat to Denmark in the recent Thomas Cup semi-finals, Chong Wei is determined to put up a better showing. In fact, he aims to become the world number one before the World Championships. “It is every player's dream to become the world number one. I aim to achieve it this year. But I will not put undue pressure on myself,” said Chong Wei. Denmark top stars Peter Gade-Christensen, Kenneth Jonassen and their world number one pair of Jens Eriksen-Martin Lundgaard Hansen will also be here while South Korea will be banking on Lee Hyun-il and their upcoming doubles players Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae, and Hwang Ji-man-Jung Tae-keuk. In a desperate effort to expose new talents, Indonesia have decided against sending their top three men singles players – Taufik Hidayat, Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso. Instead, an array of young faces led by Marcus Wijanu will spearhead the challenge. Besides Markus, the others include Icuk Sugiarto’s son Tommy Sugiarto, Alamsyah, Andreas Adityawarman and Adnan Fauzi. Their second stringers in doubles are led by Joko Riyadi-Hendra A Gunawan. Besides the badminton powerhouses, the other countries like India, England, Germany, Holland and Thailand have also named their best players. The women’s competition will also be a world-class affair with China, South Korea and the European countries sending their top players.