Badminton: A challenge for Japan's Momota to retain OUE Singapore Open crown

Japan's Kento Momota.
Japan's Kento Momota. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Kento Momota, the men's singles defending champion at the upcoming OUE Singapore Open, has his work cut out for him if he is to retain his title.

The Japanese has been drawn to meet China's Wang Zhengming in his opening tie.

In his draw is two-time Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan of China and a possible semi-final clash is on the cards if both make it that far.

Lin will open his campaign against Ihsan Maulana Mustofa of Indonesia.

The Republic's top male shuttler, Derek Wong, was drawn to face Teck Zhi Soo of Malaysia in the first round of qualifiers. Should he get past the Malaysian, he will meet the winner of the match between Lin Yu Hsien and Christie Jonatan. If Wong makes the main draw, two-time Singapore Open champion Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand awaits him.

The host nation's top female shuttler, Liang Xiaoyu, has an equally tough draw. She is set to face defending champion Sun Yu of China in the first round of the main draw.

In the men's doubles, defending champions Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi are up against Denmark's Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding in the first round.

The Malaysian pair of Tan Boon Heong and Koo Kien Keat - who are currently still fighting to secure a spot in the Olympics - will face third seeds Chai Biao and Hong Wei of China.

Singapore's sole representatives in the women's doubles main draw - Elaine Chua and Citra Dewi Sari - are set for an uphill battle after being drawn against world No.1 Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan.

Two Singaporean pairs are in the main draw of the mixed doubles. Top local pair of Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo will be up against the Netherlands' Jacco Arends and Selena Piek.

The other pair of Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han will be starting their Singapore Open journey facing South Korea's Eom Hye Won and Choi Solgyu.