The greatest badminton players in the world have descended upon Birmingham to compete in the 2014 Yonex All England Badminton Championship, Britain's oldest and most prestigious badminton event.
Badminton news | Big Super Series Tournament this week: 2014 Yonex All England Open Badminton st...: Big Supe... http://t.co/HxES7Rapad— BADMNTONWORLD (@BADMNTONWORLD) March 4, 2014
One of only five Badminton World Federation Superseries events, the tournament presents a vital stop on the world tour and could shake up the current rankings in a big way.
Venue: National Indoor Arena, Birmingham
Date: Tuesday, March 4 to Sunday, March 9
TV info and live stream: Sky Sports 3 has official coverage of the event, while online streaming will be available at BadmintonWorld.TV.
Men's world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei will be looking to avenge his defeat at the hands of Chen Long in last year's final and strengthen his spot at the top of the rankings. The Malaysian has been in top form this year, making the final of every tournament he has entered so far and winning the Maybank Malaysia Open.
And in a shocking twist, News Badminton reported Chong Wei might be entering the All England Open for the final time:
Lee Chong Wei may be competing in his last All England Open — News Badminton http://t.co/Tm3VLVShOT— NewsBdminton (@newsbdminton1) March 5, 2014
The badminton legend will be looking to go out with a bang, and winning this year's Open would be a storybook ending to a wonderful career. The road to victory will most likely be running through Chen Long, though.
Sitting right behind Wei, the Chinese title-defender bounced back from a disappointing performance in Malaysia to win the Victor Open in Korea, beating his Malaysian nemesis in the final.
And while last year's win may have come as somewhat of a surprise, no one will be overlooking Long this time.
The women's division will probably be a battle between China's Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan, and Republic of Korea's Bae Yeon Ju. While Shixian is yet to win a tournament this year, her consistent finishes near the top have her leading the rankings by the narrowest of margins.
Her compatriot, Yihan, bounced back from an early exit in Malaysia with a tournament win in Korea and looks to be in great shape entering the All England Open.
Korea's Yeon Ju has struggled with consistency so far this season and will be looking for a big result in Birmingham to catch up to the Chinese duo at the top of the standings.
England is not well represented this year, with Chris Adcock and his wife Gabby perhaps being the only hope for a good result. While Chris is ranked 18th in the world as a singles player, his partnership with his wife Gabby comes in as the fifth seed, per Badminton England, making their run to the final stages of the tournament perhaps a little easier.
Hometown fans will hope strong support from the Birmingham crowd can lead the British couple to a good result.
Men's singles: Chen Long, China
Woman's singles: Wang Yihan, China
Men's doubles: V Shem Go and Khim Wa Lin, Malaysia
Women's doubles: Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua, China
Mixed doubles: Xu Chen and Ma Jin, China