Experienced Wang ready for new challenge

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 April, 2009, 12:00am

Veteran Wang Chen begins her new role as player/coach of the Hong Kong team when the Asian Championships begin in Suwon, South Korea, today.

'She will not be focusing exclusively on winning the tournament,' said head coach Chan Chi-choi. 'She also has to take care of other players, staying at the court to give advice even when she has finished her own match.

'This is going to be a new challenge, but I am sure she will handle the new role well because of her rich experience.'

The 32-year-old (pictured), ranked sixth in the world, has a tough draw against Ai Goto of Japan in today's opening round, while other Hong Kong players also face rigorous early tests.

Zhou Mi, the world number two and top seed, meets Megumi Taruno of Japan. If she goes through, she is likely to meet one of China's rising stars, Zhu Jingjing, in the next stage.

Yip Pui-yin has probably the toughest draw as she meets third seed Wang Lin of China in her opener. Youngster Mong Kwan-yi will take on Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia.

In the men's singles, Chan Yan-kit, the sixth seed, will meet Gabby Villanueva of the Philippines, while Ng Wei's opponent will be Tan Chun Seang of Malaysia. The men's singles has been thrown wide open by the absence of the world's top three players - Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan and his compatriot Chen Jin.