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Challenging ties ahead at World Championships

Five-time world champion Lin Dan will face the force of the home crowd when he plays Scottish favourite Kieran Merrilees in the first round of the Total BWF World Championships in Glasgow.

Lin, chasing his first world title since 2013, is seeded seventh at the latest edition of the Championships, and will play 27-year-old Merrilees for the very first time when the action gets underway on August 21.

The draw for the Total BWF World Championships was made at the BWF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by diplomats, corporate partners and media.

In what could promise to be the tie of the tournament, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei look set to meet at the quarter-final stage, with ties against Georges Julien Paul and Brice Leverdez first up respectively.

Chen and Lee simply cannot be separated when it comes to head-to-heads, winning 13 times each, while the last contest saw the Chinese star prevail – in the final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

But they are not the only pair with a tough quarter, with top seed Son Wan Ho having to contend with India’s Kidambi Srikanth and Denmark’s Anders Antonsen if he wants to reach the latter stages.

Challenge 

Meanwhile two-time world champion Carolina Marin will have a bye in her women’s singles first round, while a tie with either Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong or Russia’s Natalia Perminova will come in the second round.

Should she get beyond that challenge, a number of Japanese stars could await the Spaniard, with Sayaka Sato, Nozomi Okuhara and Aya Ohori all in the same quarter.

In the men’s doubles, all of the top 16 seeds have received byes into the second round, where plenty of exciting ties await.

That includes a potentially tough first game for third seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who could face 2017 YONEX Canada Open champions Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden.

The English duo will have to get past Liao Kuan Hao and Lu Chia Pin first, while tenth seed Russians Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov may have home favourites Martin Campbell and Patrick MacHugh to deal with.

Top seeds Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen will play either Richard Eidelstedt and Nico Ruponen or Mohammad Ahsan and Rian Agung Saputro in the second phase.

Survive

It’s the same situation in the women’s doubles, with the top 16 already secure of a place in the second round.

Tournament favourites Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi will have a contest against either Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana or Ching Hui Chang and Yang Ching Tun in the women’s doubles, with those two set to face off in the first round.

At the other end of the draw, second seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen could come up against 13th seeds Hye Rin Kim and Yoo Hae Won in the last 16 if they both survive their first two rounds.

Finally, in the mixed doubles, Anton Kaisti and Jenny Nystrom or Oliver Shcaller and Celine Burkart are the first challenge to top seeds Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen.

That same discipline could see Chris and Gabby Adcock, the 2017 European champions, come up against fellow seeded duo Kenta Kazuno and Ayane Kurihara – one of the teams they faced on the way to the 2016 BWF Superseries Masters Finals runners-up spot.