Hong Kong’s Hu Yun gets final spot in Dubai world superseries finals thanks to Chen Long’s absence

The 35-year-old enters the US$1 million year-end tournament through the back door after Chinese Olympic champion turns down a wild card invitation

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 December, 2016, 7:30pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 December, 2016, 11:00pm

Hong Kong veteran shuttler Hu Yun has entered the lavish world superseries finals in Dubai next week through the back door after China’s Olympic champion Chen Long turned down a wild card.

Hu had originally missed a place in the year-end tournament but was given the final spot in men’s singles when the Chinese star turned down an invitation to appear in Dubai.

Chen’s withdrawal has opened the way for Hu to secure his fourth superseries finals appearance and allows the 35-year-old the opportunity to improve his fourth-place finish at the 2012 finals.

Chen is ranked outside the world superseries’ top 10 despite his success in the Rio Games this summer but Dubai organisers wanted a marquee name for the December 14-18 event.

Only the top eight players or pairs in the superseries rankings after 12 rounds are eligible for the US$1 million tournament.

Hong Kong coach Tim He Yiming said Hu has been given another chance to showcase his skills.

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“This will be the fourth time Hu to appear in the finals and it’s a big recognition to the veteran,” said He. “Hu finished fourth in the same tournament in 2012 and of course we are looking forward to a similar result in Dubai. There is no pressure on him as the tournament features some best players of the world and it’s not easy for anybody.”

The men’s singles line-up features also Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, Jan O Jorgensen and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, Son Wan-ho of South Korea and another Hong Kong player, Angus Ng Ka-long.

Ng, the newly crowned Hong Kong Open superseries champion, is fourth in the Dubai rankings, thanks largely to his success in the home event after beating Sameer Verma of India in the final.

Hong Kong’s best result in the year-end tournament came from Zhou Mi, who won the women’s singles in the inaugural event in 2008, while Lee Chun-hei and Chau Hoi-wah came fourth in mixed doubles in Dubai last year. The duo, however, failed to qualify for the finals this time.