Hong Kong coach Chan Chi-choi itching to see his charges take on the cream of world badminton on home turf
Chan Chi-choi can't wait to see China's Olympic champions return to action here at Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Nor can the public.
As Hong Kong head coach, Chan saw China collect three gold medals in Athens, and he is looking forward to watching the mainland stars as much as anyone.
The exhibition matches - from 3pm to 4.30pm on Wednesday - will feature five gold medallists. 'I am looking forward to it. It's exciting to have these stars in action and everybody is itching to see them play,' said Chan.
As badminton is the first sport to be on display at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium - 90 minutes of action before table tennis comes on - time will be of the essence. A competition format hasn't been decided, but Chan said the matches may not be the best-of-three-games format used in Athens.
Women's singles champion and star player Zhang Ning, considered the elder stateswoman of the team, will show off her skills, but will not be competing in singles.
Zhang will team up with mixed doubles champion Gao Ling and play against China's top women's doubles pairing, Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei - the Athens women's doubles champions.
A mixed doubles match will follow as Athens champions Zhang Jun and Gao will take on Hong Kong's finest, Yeung Lai-fung and Li Wing-mui.
'Our mixed doubles team won the Hong Kong annual championships so they are our best team. Li Wing-mui went to Athens and would have soaked up some experience. It will be a very good opportunity for them to play against the top-class players from China,' said Chan.
'Watching these top athletes in action is really good for the sport in Hong Kong. The public and our players are really looking forward to the occasion, too,' he said.
The public will also take part in the third exhibition match by a lottery. Spectators will be allowed to come down from the stands and meet the stars, who will provide them with tips, while giving them a chance to play against them.