SS Finals – Post-Japan Open breaks ending and extending

As we await the final entry lists for the Superseries Finals in Dubai, news has trickled in to answer certain question marks surrounding All England and World Champions. World Champion […]

As we await the final entry lists for the Finals in Dubai, news has trickled in to answer certain question marks surrounding All England and World Champions.

World Champion and 2015 winner Nozomi Okuhara (pictured left) has played two rallies since departing the Japan Open in September after winning her quarter-final match.  She played one rally at the China Open, then another at last week’s All Japan Championships (see related article here) and yesterday, The Japan Times reported that Okuhara had withdrawn from the event.

Her absence should mean that China’s Chen Yufei will be invited to participate in the season-ending million-dollar event for the first time in her career.   In the Superseries standings, Chen finished slightly ahead of Okuhara, who qualified automatically for the tournament on the basis of her World Championship title.

The other news that emerged on Sunday came from Korea Masters winners Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan.  They confirmed that they would both be competing in Dubai, reprising their partnerships with Chang Ye Na (pictured below, with Lee So Hee) and Jung Kyung Eun respectively.  The two former pairs last competed together at the Japan Open, where Chang and Lee reached the quarter-finals but Jung and Shin were eliminated in the first round.  While the Lee/Shin combination have reached the finals of all three tournament s they have played since Japan – and won two of them – Chang and Jung have managed just two quarter-final and one semi-final appearance in the five events they have played since.

The Badminton World Federation’s timetable says that the entries for the Superseries Finals should have been completed by last week, official lists have yet to be published and there is still one more and two more ‘disbanded’ pairs that pose questions.  India’s Srikanth Kidambi has also been struggling with an since playing in his championships a week after winning the French Open.

Also following the French Open, China split up its two top mixed doubles pairs.  Incurring a fine, China could still hold back either Lu Kai / Huang Yaqiong or Zheng Siwei / Chen Qingchen and still have a second pair in Dubai with Wang Yilyu / Huang Dongping.  Chen and Huang are the only players who qualified for two disciplines in Dubai.

Last year there were three substitutions after the initial invitations went out.  Nitya Krishinda Maheswari was injured and both of China’s Olympic gold medallists also sat out the Finals.

Photos: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto

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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