The Chiba Badminton Association has published the list of nations that have announced their intent to compete for the Suhandinata Cup, in the mixed team competition at this year’s Yonex BWF World Junior Badminton Championships. Badminton powerhouse Denmark is again giving the team competition a miss but there are still 31 nations intending to play for the Cup, nine more than last year.
In fact, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a press release (available here) that this year’s turnout is just one shy of the record of 32 entries, set back in 2006. However, four of those teams withdrew from the team competition in Incheon and so it would seem possible that a record may still be set in Chiba this month.
The BWF said that Algeria, Belgium and Uzbekistan were entering the event for the first time and that ten teams availed themselves of a participation grant initiated by the BWF Council to encourage entries from nations that had not competed recently or had finished outside of the top 15.
A traditionally strong badminton nation, Denmark has yet to finish in the medals at the Suhandinata Cup, which was won last year by Malaysia for the first time, and previously once by Korea, and the remaining seven times by China. Denmark also missed the team competition in 2007 and 2008 but still sent players for the individual competitions in Auckland and Pune respectively.
This year, the Danes could again pose a threat if they compete in the individual competition. 2010 champion and two-time finalist Viktor Axelsen is in his last year of eligibility for junior competition but is entered in the Yonex French Open, which coincides with the WJC team event. Kasper Antonsen is another possible contender, being half of the pair that beat the Asian Junior Champions-to-be in Germany earlier this year.