In spite of the confirmation that no wild card would be given this year by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), there is still an option within the grasp of the China Badminton Association for Lin Dan to play in the upcoming World Championships…
By Raphaël Sachetat. Photo: Badmintonphoto
Rules and regulations and their implementations often allow creative strategies in every sport…and badminton is no exception. Lin Dan may end up being the beneficiary if his Association decides to sacrifice one of the spots his team-mates have earned for the upcoming World Championships, to be held in Denmark at the end of August. And those who have already celebrated Lee Chong Wei’s best ever chance to clinch the title may have to think twice and consider putting the cork back in the champagne bottle. In theory, China still has the possibility to send the two-time Olympic gold medallist to Copenhagen this summer.
Based on the world rankings of April 24th, China should be able to send 3 players, as they have four ranked in the top 24. The three named as eligible on the BWF’s Phase 1 eligibility list are Chen Long, Du Pengyu and Wang Zhengming. However, according to Rule 3.2.21, ‘The Member Associations shall confirm whether or not eligible players / pairs (Phase I) will enter’. In other words, if China sends back a response declining the Phase I invitations of Du Pengyu and Wang Zhengming, then the BWF should next be offering them the option of sending Tian Houwei, and a series of declined invitations down the list, through Chen Yuekun, Gao Huan, and Xue Song, could finally put Lin Dan back on the list of potential qualifiers in Phase II of the process, in spite of his #83 spot in the world rankings.
Chen Long and Lin Dan flying the Chinese flag?
On paper, this means that China has the choice of either sending three players – should they elect to go with any three of the four shuttlers ranked within the top 24 – or sending any two of the nine Chinese players between world #2 Chen Long and #98 Huang Yuxiang. In other words, with the sacrifice of six higher-ranked players, China could theoretically run with Chen Long and Lin Dan if they believed this would give them a greater chance at the world title, as long as Lin Dan is up to the task.
What would you do if you were in a position to makes decisions for Team China? Please cast your vote in the following poll and please feel free to use the comment section below if you would like to explain your choice.
Who would you send for China to the 2014 World Championship men's singles competition?
- Chen Long, Lin Dan (80%, 642 Votes)
- Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Wang Zhengming (14%, 116 Votes)
- Chen Long, Du Pengyu, Tian Houwei (3%, 22 Votes)
- Chen Long, Wang Zhengming, Tian Houwei (3%, 21 Votes)
Total Voters: 801