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The 2017 Badminton World Championships will kick off on Monday, as the top players in the world vie for silverware in Glasgow, Scotland.
China once again enter the tournament as the favourites to dominate most categories, but after their upset loss at the hands of South Korea at the Sudirman Cup, the pressure will be on.
The tournament will run from Monday, August 21, until Sunday, August 27, at the Emirates Arena. The full schedule can be accessed by clicking here. BBC Sport will stream the tournament live, and the Badminton World Federation will also provide coverage via their official YouTube channel.
The road to the men’s gold medal appears to be as open as it has been in years entering the tournament, with several top contenders.
Defending champion Chen Long has been hampered by injury and has yet to win a Super Series tournament, while Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei have each claimed one title. The two veterans are longtime rivals, but neither has been in great form of late.
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Dan is regarded as the greatest badminton player in history, and he has a tendency to elevate his level of play in major tournaments. He’ll have to deal with two emerging talents who appear set to dominate the sport for years to come, however.
Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen won the Super Series tournament in India and has been in consistent form throughout the season, while India’s Srikanth Kidambi is the man of the moment, with back-to-back Super Series wins entering the World Championships.
BadmintonWorldTV spoke to the 24-year-old, who explained how injury led to him playing the greatest badminton of his career:
Shi Yuqi will also be one to keep an eye on―the 21-year-old may lack experience in major tournaments but has the raw quality to cause an upset.
Tai Tzu-ying started the season by winning three of the first four women’s Super Series events, but the 23-year-old has since cooled off significantly, opening the door for other contenders.
Carolina Marin is the defending champion and Olympic gold medallist, and while the Spanish star hasn’t been in great form―her only major title this year came at the European Championships―she has been building towards the World Championships, sacrificing form elsewhere.
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India’s P.V. Sindhu will also be a contender, and the Japanese duo of Nozomi Okuhara and Sayaka Sato have split the last two Super Series events.
Indonesia have put up excellent results in the doubles competitions this year―particularly in the men’s―but China remains the nation to beat in the team categories, claiming two gold medals and one silver in 2015.