Olympic champion Chen Long turns down wild card invitation to Dubai
Rio Olympics gold medal winner Chen Long of China has turned down Badminton World Federation's wildcard invitation to compete in this year's season ending finale - the Dubai World Superseries Finals.
Hong Kong's Hu Yun ( Image above), ranked No 9 in the Dubai ranking list, will now take over Chen Long's place. The 35-year-old will be the second Hong Kong player in Dubai and will join compatriot Angus Ng Ka Long, The 22-year-old Ka Long won this year's Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open and moved to No 4 in the Dubai ranking list.
Despite the presence of three Europeans - two Danes and a German - in Dubai, Asians, led by Malaysia's World No 1 and three-time Olympics silver medallist Lee Chong, are still the hot favourites for the men's singles crown.
Chong Wei is four-time winner of the World Superseries Finals. He notched a hattrick from 2008 to 2010 and won again in 2013. The Malaysian ace, has also three silver medals in the World Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The 34-year-old Chong Wei won this year's Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open, BCA Indonesia Open and the Yonex Japan Open.
Denmark's Jan O Jorgensen topped the Dubai ranking list. The 29-year-old Dane won this year's Thaihot China Open apart from finishing runners-up in the Yonex Japan Open and the BCA Indonesia Open.
No 2 on the Dubai ranking list is South Korea's Son Wan-ho who, on Sunday, won the Korea Masters. In the Superseries the Korean was runners-up in the OUE Singapore Open, the Victor Korea Open and the Yonex Denmark Open.
China's lone flag bearer is Tian Houwei, 24 years, who was runners-up in the Yonex All-England this year. He finished No 3 in the Dubai ranking list.
Ka Long, 22, who became the first local to win the Yonex Sunrise Hong Open is ranked No 4 - ahead of Denmark's Rio Olympics bronze medal winner Viktor Axelsen and last year's runners-up in the Dubai Superseries Finals. He also finished runners-up in this year's Yonex Sunrise India Open.
Marc Zwiebler is the first German to make the Dubai Superseries Finals and made the grade at No 6 and his only notable achievement this year was making the semi-finals in the Japan Open.
The qualifiers for Dubai Superseries Finals
1. Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark)
2015: World Championships - bronze
2016: Thaihot China Open (winner)
Yonex Japan Open (runners-up)
BCA Indonesia Open (runners-up)
2. Son Wan-ho (South Korea)
2016: OUE Singapore Open (runners-up)
Victor Korea Open (runners-up)
Yonex Denmark Open (runners-up)
Korea Masters (winner)
3. Tian Houwei (China)
2016: Yonex All-England (runners-up)
4. Angus Ng Ka Long (Hong Kong)
2016: Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open (winner)
5. Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
2015: Dubai World Superseries Finals (runners-up)
2016: Rio Olympics (bronze)
Yonex Sunrise India Open (runners-up)
6. Marc Zwiebler (Germany)
2016: Yonex Japan Open (semi-finals)
7. Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)
2008 (Beijing); 2012 (London): 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) Olympics (silver medal)
2011: 2013: 2015: World Championships (silver medal)
2016: Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open (winner)
BCA Indonesia Open (winner)
Yonex Japan Open (winner)
8. Hu Yun (Hong Kong)
2016: Yonex Sunrise Hong Kong Open (semi-finals)
Xianmenair Australia Open (semi-finals)
BCA Indonesia Open (quarter-finals)