World's best to appear in HK
OLYMPIC champion Allan Budi Kusuma and silver medallist Ardy Wiranata will head a strong field for the Seiko Asian Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
The Indonesian pair will be joined by fast-rising compatriot Heryanto Arbi, last year's Hongkong Open finalist, for the men's team tournament, to be held from from March 31 to April 4.
Six of the world's top-10 singles players and six of the top seven men's doubles pairings will be competing.
The event, which is being held in the territory for the first time, will feature the leading four countries from last year's premier men's team tournament, the Thomas Cup - champions Malaysia, runners-up Indonesia, and semi-finalists China and South Korea - and 15 other Asian countries including Hongkong.
Indonesia go into the tournament as favourites as their team also boasts the world's top doubles pair of Rexy Mainaky and Ricky Subagja.
China will take a lot of beating with an experienced line-up which includes world number eight and last year's All-England champion Liu Jun and Hongkong Open title-holder Wu Wenkai.
Also in the Chinese squad are doubles pair Chen Kang and Chen Hongyong, winners of the Japan and Swedish Opens last year.
Thomas Cup champions Malaysia are expected to offer a strong challenge led by Asian Championship singles runner-up Foo Kok Keong. He will be joined by Taiwan Masters doubles champions Cheah Soon Kit and Soo Beng Kiang.
Hongkong's challenge is to be spearheaded by world number 19 doubles pair Chan Siu-kwong and Ng Pak-kum, who won the Portuguese Open last week.
Joining them are Chan Kin-ngai, a men's singles finalist in Lisbon, Wong Wai-lap, Ng Liang-hual, Chow Kin-man, Chan Wing-kit and Tam Kai-chuen.
The eight strongest teams will play in Division One, which is divided into two groups, while Division Two, which comprises the rest of the field, is divided into four groups.
Hongkong have been placed in Division One and will contest Group A with Malaysia, China and Japan.