Poll – Whose Superseries wait will end in 2015?

Who will end years of waiting in 2015 by finally reaching the top of the podium in a Superseries tournament?  Give us your pick in our latest Badzine Poll. Photos: […]

Who will end years of waiting in 2015 by finally reaching the top of the podium in a tournament?  Give us your pick in our latest Badzine .

Photos: Badmintonphoto

Although most of the world’s top badminton players are now focussed on the start of the qualifying period for the Rio 2016 Olympics, the way to both ranking points and riches lies in the Metlife BWF World Superseries, which will offer close to US$7 million in prize money in 2015.  In 2014, no fewer than eight players – Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan, Tang Yuanting and Lu Kai of China, Kidambi Srikanth of India, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei, and Goh V. Shem and Lim Khim Wah of Malaysia –  won Superseries titles for the first time in their careers.  Not coincidentally, five of those eight are currently in the world’s top ten and all but two were among the top 50 richest badminton players in terms of prize money for the year.

Still, 21 of the 74 players who were ranked in the top 10 in the world at the end of last year have never won a Superseries title.  Matsutomo and Takahashi won the first of their two Superseries titles last year after coming up short in four finals but it is their compatriots who were and are still the king runners-up.  Kenichi Tago has been second highest on a Superseries podium an incredible seven times, beginning with the All England way back in 2010!  Just slightly behind are Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa (pictured top).  They posted their fifth and sixth Superseries runner-up performances in 2014, in addition to reaching the semi-final stage of four more events.

Hong Wei of China (pictured right with Chai Biao) is a late bloomer in the Superseries runner-up department.  He reached his first final in late 2013 but then added four more last year alone, including at the Destination Dubai BWF World Superseries Finals, where he and Chai Biao were just two points away from beating the world #1 pair.  At a total of four Superseries events, Reika Kakiiwa has been relegated to silver – a role she also played at the last Olympics – and Korea’s Eom Hye Won recently came up short in the third Superseries final of her career, just over a year after being similarly denied at the World Championships.

Germany’s Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels have only let three opportunities go begging in their career, but they are among the few who have been waiting since 2010, having played their first Superseries Sunday at the French Open in 2010.  Indonesia’s Greysia Polii is still by far the most overdue.  The 21st of this month will mark a full eight years since she appeared in the final of the very first Superseries event, the 2007 Malaysia Open.  Of the other seven runners-up from that day, five – including Polii’s partner Vita Marissa (pictured left) – had won Superseries titles before New Year’s Day 2008, one won his first two years later, and one retired without even winning one.

We now ask you what you see in the future of some of these hopefuls.  Every player in this list was either ranked in the top 10 in 2014, or reached the final of a Superseries event, or both.  In the poll below, choose any two that you think will finally put it all together to win gold at a Superseries event in 2015.  Feel free to elaborate on your choices in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Note: This poll was closed after the India Open, where both Liu Cheng and Hong Wei won a Superseries title  for the first time in their career.  Incidentally, Luo Ying and Luo Yu, one week after coming up short in the final in India, removed their names from the list of mere hopefuls by winning the Malaysia Open Superseries Premier.  Thank you to all who voted and best of luck to the 16 other fine players who may yet reach the top of a Superseries podium before the year is out.

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net