Chong Wei has bogeyman Lin Dan in his half of draw KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Chong Wei is probably the unluckiest top seed in the world championships, which will be held in Paris from Aug 23-29. In the draw made by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) at a click of a button yesterday, the world No. 1 found himself on a path full of land mines. The players in his half of the draw are China’s Lin Dan and Bao Chunlai, Indonesian Taufik Hidayat. South Korean Park Sung-hwan, Dane Jan O Jorgensen and Japanese Kenichi Tago. And to make it even more disheartening for Malaysia, Chong Wei may play against compatriot Mohd Hafiz Hashim in the second round. He has an opening round match against Kevin Gordon of Guatemala in a quarter of a draw, which has Jorgensen, Taufik and Tago. The other quarter of the draw has his bogeyman and three-time champion Lin Dan, Chunlai and Sung-hwan. It will not be easy too for Lin Dan to reach the semi-finals. He lost to Chunlai in the All-England quarter-finals in March and had found Sung-hwan a tough nut to crack in several occasions. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary, Ng Chin Chai, who was present at the draw ceremony at the Park Royal Hotel here, said: “Chong Wei is our best bet for a world title but unfortunately, he has one of the toughest draws. “It’s quite heavy at the top. Lin Dan will be Chong Wei’s toughest challenge. But we hope that he will also not overlook all those early threats on his way to make at least the semi-finals. We hope that Chong Wei will give his best.” The BWF chief operating officer, Thomas Lund, said that his fellow countryman and second seed Peter-Gade Christensen of Denmark should be smiling from ear-to-ear on learning a draw in the company of China’s Chen Jin, Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana and Indonesians Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso. “No doubt it looks to be more equal in the lower half compared to the top. Peter has beaten all the seeded players in his half. It will not be easy when you have these strong characters – Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Taufik – in the same half,” he said. “Peter has been playing well and it could be a good outing for him if he can take his chances well. Indeed, it will be an exciting men’s singles affair in Paris.” The other Malaysian in the men’s singles competition, veteran Wong Choong Hann, is in the same quarter as Sony and it will be tough for the 2003 runner-up to go beyond the early rounds. Ironically, Choong Hann is only Malaysia singles player to ever reach a world championship final. Then in Birmingham, he lost to Xia Xuanze of China.