China's Chen Yufei gets top billing in Badminton Asia Champions in Wuhan
Credit Image: BWF & Raphael Sachetat
China's World No 3 Chen Yufei, the winner of this year's prestigious All-England title in Birmingham in March gets the top billing in the Badminton Asia Championships in the women's singles.
Japan's second-ranked Nozomi Okuhara is the No 2 seed with compatriot Akane Yamaguchi, ranked fourth, seeded third in the continent's biggest championships which carries prize money of USD400,000.
India's sixth-ranked P.V. Sindhu is the fourth seed followed by China's He Bingjiao as the fifth seed. The other seeded players in the women's singles are Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon (seeded sixth), India's Saina Nehwal (seventh) and Korea's top woman shuttler Sung Ji-hyun completes the cast as the eighth seed.
The Badminton Asia Championships will be held at the Wuhan Sports Center Gymnasium from April 23-28 and has drawn the top shuttlers in the world although defending women's singles champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei will not defend her title this year.
Incidentally, Chen Yufei was a losing finalist in last year's Badminton Asia Championships. She lost to Tzu Ying 19-21, 20-22 in the title match.
Yufei, however, has signaled her arrival at the senior stage when she turned the tables on Tzu Ying in this year's All-England finals in Birmingham in March.
Yufei opens her campaign against Malaysia's Goh Jin Wei, who is the reigning Youth Olympics gold medallist and the junior world champion while Nozomi takes on Korea's Kim Hyo-min with Yamaguchi facing a qualifier.
For the record, no Indian shuttler has won the Asian title since the inception of the Asian championships in 1962. Sindhu's first-round opponent is Japan's Sayaka Takahashi with Nehwal up against China's Han Yue.
Bingjiao takes on Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol in the opener while former junior and world champion Intanon takes on Aya Ohori of Japan. Korean hope Ji-hyun meets China's Cai Yanyan.