Home2018Chinese youngster Shi Yuqi can steal the limelight in Wuhan

Chinese youngster Shi Yuqi can steal the limelight in Wuhan

Twenty-two-year-old Shi Yuqi is fast coming through the ranks to establish himself as the next Chinese badminton legend in the making.

The Jiangsu native is only seeded fourth in this year's Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China from April 24-29 – behind top seed K. Srikanth (India), Son Wan-ho (Korea) and compatriot Chen Long, who is the defending champion.

Seedings do not matter for the lanky Yuqi.

He proved this last month when he denied compatriot Lin Dan his seventh All-England title, prevailing 21-19, 16-21, 21-9 in the final.

Yuqi also made heads turn at last year's All-England Championships – reaching the final but he fell at the final hurdle to Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei who won 21-12, 21-10.

He also added the India Open Super 500 title to his list this year – defeating Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-14 in the final.

After leading China to the mixed team title in the Asia Junior Championships in Kota Kinabalu in 2013, Yuqi broke into the limelight in 2014 when he won the singles gold in the Nanjing Youth Olympics and also the mixed team gold in the world junior championships apart from winning the singles and mixed team gold in the Asian Junior Championships.

After a subdued season in 2015 – finding it badminton life difficult among the seniors – Yuqi won his first Superseries title and this was the French Open in 2016 when he beat Korea's experienced Lee Hyun Il 21-16, 21-19 in the final.

Last he made heads turn in the prestigious All-England – the oldest badminton tournament in the world – giving strong signals that he is "coming of age" at senior level.

This he did in style when he won the title with his famous win over Lin Dan. 

The big names of Asian badminton like Lin Dan, defending champion Chen Long and two-time winner  Chong Wei, India's K. Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy and Indonesia's Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie plus Thai veteran Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Japan's Kenta Nishimoto, Kazumasa Sakai, Kento Momota; Korea's Son Wan-ho and Lee Dong-keun and Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei all throwing in their challenge in Wuhan, Yuqi also stands tall in his quest for honours.

Srikanth is the top seed while Wan-ho is seeded second and Chen Long is at number three and Yuqi seeded fourth with Chong Wei taking the fifth slot.

Yuqi opens his campaign with a first round match against Dong-keun.

A win against the Korean will see him face either Vietnamese veteran Nguyen Tien-minh or Japan's former world number two Momota.


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