Chen Long’s anxious wait to learn his fate ended today when the Badminton World Federation awarded him the only wild card for the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 from August 21-27 at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
The Olympic and double World champion had finished ninth when the Race to Glasgow year-long qualifying period ended with the ranking list of April 27.
However, that was not high enough to gain automatic qualification because China had Shi Yuqi, Tian Houwei and five-time world champion Lin Dan ahead of him in the top eight. In order for China to gain four automatic places, Chen Long also needed to be in the top eight.
But today BWF gave him a wild card in recognition of his status as Olympic and World champion.
A BWF statement said that “the 28-year-old’s stature and fan appeal would enhance the Championships.”
Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said: “This is great news for our Championships. There is a strong Chinese community in and around Glasgow and their passion for badminton will be magnified by the presence of four of their great men’s singles stars.
“The wider badminton fan base will be delighted Chen Long is in the line-up. It will be fascinating to see if he can complete a hat-trick of world titles. But he will face a terrific challenge with 23 on the world’s top 25 now included for the men’s singles.”
In the women’s singles Spain’s Carolina Marin will also be chasing a hat-trick at the Worlds after winning the 2014 and 2015 titles before adding the Olympic crown. On Sunday she made it a hat-trick of European titles when she defeated Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour for the second year in a row in the final.
Both these players will lead the European challenge in women’s singles in Glasgow