Irish men’s No 1 Scott Evans has drawn reigning world and Olympic champion Lin Dan of China for his opening group match in the men’s badminton singles, at London 2012.
The draw could not have been tougher for Evans, world ranked No 76 . Lin, although seeded second to Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, for the tournament is widely regarded by as the greatest player of all time. Evans has played Li many times, most notably in the second round of last year’s World Championships, where he put up a good fight.
Chloe Magee, world No 44, has had a much kinder draw in a group of three. She will play 33-year-old Pi Hongyan of France, a quarter- finalist at Beijing in 2008, now world ranked 25.
The pair met in the quarter finals of the Yonex Irish Open last December with Pi only winning in three sets. The other player in the group is Egypt’s Hadia Hosny, world ranked 113. Magee will have the advantage of analysing the Egyptian opponent who has been preparing for the Games in Dublin at the National training centre.
Only the winners of the 16 groups in the singles competitions, some with two players and some with three, will go through to the knockout stages of the competition, Play starts on Saturday, with the playing schedule to be announced later this week.