GLASGOW • China's Chen Long and Spain's Carolina Marin will be looking to extend their run of consecutive titles at the world badminton championships which start today in Glasgow.
Both turn up in Scotland after winning world singles titles and Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro.
Chen is seeded only fifth behind world No. 1 Son Wan Ho, veteran Lee Chong Wei, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen and Shi Yuqi.
The 28-year-old also has a tough draw, with arch rival Lee looming in the quarter-finals.
Lee, who will be 35 in October, won his fourth All-England Open title this season and the hope for Malaysia is that he continues in the game until the next Olympics and wins the elusive gold in Tokyo in 2020.
He took silver in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
South Korea's Son spearheaded his country to victory in the Sudirman Cup in May, but winning the individual world title in Glasgow is his priority.
"It is my target for the year," said the 29-year-old, who has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals. "I want to do much better than I have done at past world championships."
Five-time world champion Lin Dan is seeded seventh and could be classed as the opening-round villain as his first opponent is Scotland's No 1. Kieran Merrilees.
Lin has happy memories of Glasgow. He led China to the 2007 Sudirman Cup triumph at the Scotstoun Centre and 10 years on, he remains a tough competitor.
Marin is seeded third in the women's singles, which is missing world No. 1, Tai Tzu-ying. The Chinese Taipei payer is competing in the World Student Games in her country.
Heading the seedings are the world No. 2, Japan's Akane Yamaguchi, and No. 3, South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun. All the top seeds have a bye in the opening round.
Marin has tasted success at the Emirates Arena, winning the 2013 Scottish Open and her relative lack of success this season, resulting in a drop to No. 4 in the world rankings, has not affected her confidence.
"I haven't won a Super Series title this year, but it was similar last year and I won the biggest one of all," said the 24-year-old.
Day 1: StarHub Ch201, 6pm