Badminton World Championships 2019 - Everything you need to know
Badminton's biggest event of the year is about to get underway in Basel.
The BWF World Championships, first held in 1977 in the Swedish city of Malmo, return to Switzerland for the first time since Lausanne played host to them back in 1995.
Around 400 of the world's elite players will gather this August in an attempt to clinch one of the five titles on offer in men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.
It's not only a battle for silverware, but also points towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Momota the man to beat
Top seed Kento Momota is on a mission with this year's World Championship another stepping stone in his pursuit of Olympic glory.
The 24-year-old is able to focus on the long game after becoming the first Japanese to win the world title in Nanjing last year.
Since returning from his one-year ban for illegal gambling in mid-2017, Momoto has risen to the top of the men's singles rankings.
Momota will be the clear favourite to retain his title especially with several top players - including Axelsen, 2018 World Tour Finals winner Shi Yuqi and former world number one Son Wan Ho - out through injury.
Can Lin Dan rewrite his own record?
No players has won the tournament more times than China's Lin Dan.
The five-time world champion almost added another in 2017 but went down to Axelsen in the final.
At 35, many consider the two-time Olympic champion to be past his prime but Lin has proved that he is still capable of winning.
Despite starting off this season with a shock defeat in the Thailand Masters final to relatively unknown Singaporean Loh Kean Yew, he went on to add his second Malaysia Open title in April, defeating reigning Olympic champion Chen Long to claim the crown.
Seeded 11, Lin is due to meet Momoto in round three as he bids for world title number six.
Lee to lead the way for Malaysia
The 21-year-old, who is training under Chong Wei's former coach Hendrawan, comes into the tournament having reached his first international semi-finals at the Thailand Open.
Meanwhile, his compatriot Liew Daren will be hoping to make his maiden final appearance after taking bronze 12 months ago
Both have made the finals of World Tour events this year, the Japan Open and Singapore Open respectively, where they both lost out to Momota.
Christie is currently ranked fourth in the world with Ginting eight. Could this be their breakout tournament?
A new women's champion will be crowned
Spain's Carolina Marin will not defend her title.
The only woman to win three World Championship titles is still recovering after undergoing surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
With the reigning Olympic champion missing, the battle for the women's crown should be intense with little separating the top seeds.
Could it be third time lucky for P.V. Sindhu?
The Indian has been runner-up the last years, going down in an epic final to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in 2017 before falling to Marin in a repeat of the Rio 2016 gold medal decider.
Sindhu will be hoping to get the job done this time round although second seed Tai Tzu Ying could pose a real threat in the quarter-finals.
Badminton: Women's Singles Gold Match | Rio 2016 Replays
Badminton: Women's Singles Gold Match | Rio 2016 ReplaysCarolina Marin (ESP) 2 - 1 P.V. Sindhu (IND)
Top seed Akane Yamaguchi from Japan will be looking to improve on the bronze she collected last year.
The 22-year-old is enjoying a strong run of form this season having won three World Tour titles including the Super 1000 Indonesian Open.
The reigning Asian champion will be one of the favourites for gold at Tokyo 2020 along with fellow Japanese Okuhara, and both will be hoping for strong showings in Basel.
Meanwhile, 2013 world champion Ratchanok Intanon cannot be ruled out.
The Thai shuttler has had a consistent season including beating Marin to the Malaysia Masters crown in January and claiming her third India Open title.
China rebuilding for the future
After entering the World Championships in 1983, China dominated the women's singles winning all but two titles between 1983 and 2011.
But it is now five World Championships since a Chinese woman has emerged victorious.
Both have reached the semi-finals in the last two years and are now seeking to go all the way to the top step of the podium.
Nineteen-year-olds Han Yue and Cai Yan Yan have also qualified and, while they aren't expected to contend for medals, their presence is a reflection of the growing depth in Chinese women's squad which can only bode well for the future.
A. Yamaguchi (JPN) v B. He (CHN) - Women's Badminton | 2014 YOG Nanjing
A. Yamaguchi (JPN) v B. He (CHN) - Women's Badminton | 2014 YOG NanjingGold Medal Match
Here's where the heavy hitting happens
When it comes to fast rallies, acrobatic leaps and heavy smashing, the men's doubles is where it's at
They've suffered some notable defeats this season, most recently in the finals of the Thailand Open.
While Ahsan and Setiawan were world champions in 2013 and 2015, Gideon and Sukamuljo are bidding to improve on quarter-final appearances in the last two competitions.
Japanese women pairing up for success
The top three seeds in the women's doubles are all from Japan with their fourth pair seeded eight.
The experienced duo have won three of their last four meetings with Matsumoto and Nagahara, but have a losing record against Fukushima and Hirota.
China's mixed doubles domination
Expect more of the same this year with the pairs seeded first and second respectively.
Between them they have claimed seven of the nine major World Tour titles played this season.
It's hard to imagine the title not going to either one of them, but perhaps the likes of Japan's Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino or Thailand's Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai can rise to the occasion.
One thing we do know for sure is that the host city is ready to welcome the players and officials to the 25th Badminton World Championships.
Follow the Badminton World Championships 2019
A full schedule of the tournament and draw can be found here.
All times are Central European Summer Time (UTC +2 hours)
Monday 19 August - From 9:00am Round of 64
Tuesday 20 August - From 9:00am Round of 64 & Round of 32
Wednesday 21 August - From 9:00am Round of 32
Thursday 22 August - From 11:00am Round of 16
Friday 23 August - From 11:00am Quarter-finals
Saturday 24 August - From 11:00am Semi-finals
Sunday 25 August - From 12:00pm Finals
The tournament will also be streamed live on Olympic Channel (territorial restrictions apply)