The points have all been won by those in the running to qualify for next month’s BWF World Superseries Finals in Shenzhen, where over half the participants will be from the host nation and from emerging badminton powers Japan and Thailand.
By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto
With the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open Superseries concluded, the results are in for the final calculations of who will qualify for the CR Land BWF World Superseries Finals, to be held in Shenzhen, China from December 12th to 16th.
In hindsight, the Hong Kong Open did not have a big effect on the top 8 in the standings. Only one spot changed hands, and it came from Anugritayawon and Voravichitchaikul not showing up to play in the mixed doubles there and ceding the last mixed spot to Indonesia’s Muhammad Rijal / Debby Susanto. However, half the spots were still up for grabs as of last weekend and while some players were able to clinch by simply showing up, others had to work hard to maintain the standing that will send them to Shenzhen.
Qualifying by the numbers
China goes back down to 9 qualifiers from the maximum of 10 it reached last year. Japan is the next biggest contingent with 7, while Thailand and Malaysia can send five each, with Korea and Denmark contributing 4 apiece. Looking at the number of players, the 64 total player spots translates into 61 actual bodies as three women – China’s Zhao Yunlei, Korean Jang Ye Na, and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark (pictured here with Kamilla Rytter Juhl) – made the grade in two disciplines each.
The field demonstrates unprecedented concentration in the hands of the powerful. 52 of the 61 players or 34 of the 40 available berths will be filled by six nations. Amazingly, Indonesia is not among the six, as it will be sending only two mixed doubles pairs. The six Danish players, along with Germany’s Juliane Schenk, are the only non-Asians in the field for the Finals, which is perhaps the most prestigious badminton tournament without any mandatory continental representation.
China is limited to one entry only in men’s doubles but both Japan and Malaysia have two qualified in that discipline, making women’s singles the only category with seven nations represented. It also has the broadest age range with both the oldest and youngest qualifier, the latter being Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon (pictured top), the youngest player ever to qualify for the Superseries Finals.
No rest till the holidays
Since the China Masters, there has been only one week on the calendar that did not have at least a Grand Prix-level tournament. Most players have been pacing themselves but a few have earned tickets to Shenzhen that they may be redeeming after some serious runs of activity. Only the six Koreans plan to play the week immediately prior, at the Korea Grand Prix Gold in Hwasun. Three of these – Yoo Yeon Seong / Jang Ye Na (pictured) and Jang’s doubles partner Eom Hye Won – are also entered in this week’s Macau Open, giving them a five-week run.
Kim Ki Jung, who played mixed and men’s doubles in the World University Badminton Championships recently, has already played five of the last six weeks and will only stay home from Macau before putting in two more weeks consecutively. Several other players will stay on the Pearl River Delta this week to play Macau before resting one week before Shenzhen and still others have been busy playing in the China Badminton Super League in addition to the already taxing autumn of BWF events.
The biggest name missing from the ranking lists is undoubtedly defending men’s singles champion Lin Dan, who made his sole Superseries Finals appearance so far at last year’s fourth edition, in Liuzhou. Absent for the first time will be Korea’s Lee Yong Dae, but he will be joined by compatriots Ha Jung Eun and also Jung Jae Sung who, like Peter Gade, retired partway through this year’s Superseries.
Along with Lin Dan, Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang may well be unable to defend their title. Wang and Yu did indeed surge back into the top eight last week in Shanghai, but their loss to Tian/Zhao in Hong Kong – with whom they were tied in the standings until they stepped on court on Sunday – leaves them as the third Chinese women’s doubles pair.
If one looks at the world rankings, the actual top 8 overlaps by only half in the case of men’s singles, where Lin Dan, Chen Jin, Simon Santoso, and Lee Hyun Il are replaced by Hu Yun, Liew Daren, Boonsak Ponsana, and Wang Zhengming, whose rankings range from 12th to 18th. However, in women’s singles, it is the same eight names atop both lists.
Even in doubles, there is only one current top 8 pair missing from the Superseries top 8, except in men’s doubles, where the current world rankings include three disbanded pairs that have already dropped from the Superseries lists. However, the world rankings, too, seem remiss in having Olympic gold medallists Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng at #9, where they sit in the Superseries standings as well. China’s men’s doubles entry is instead Hong Wei / Shen Ye (pictured), in their Superseries Finals debut.
If you’re in, you’re in?
Since the BWF made attendance at the Superseries Finals compulsory two years ago, there has only been one absentee, who provided medical evidence of an injury. In fact, China has not even promoted any third shuttlers ahead of second, as with the decision that sent Li Xuerui (pictured) to the Olympics to win gold this summer.
If China does have a documented injury, they still have Wang Zhengming in the wings in men’s singles, Wang Shixian and Jiang Yanjiao in women’s singles, and Wang/Yu in women’s doubles. In addition, Thailand, China, Japan, and Indonesia have the #9 shuttlers in disciplines where they already have qualifiers in the top 8 so they may be able to sustain injuries without shrinking their Finals contingents.
This year is the first time that the qualifier list officially includes a player who has publicly announced her retirement. The lists below have been made with the understanding that Japan’s Reiko Shiota will not be making a comeback in December.
You will find below a calculation of the expected final standings for the OSIM BWF World Superseries, once the BWF adds in points won at the Hong Kong Open. These standings are unofficial, and are merely in anticipation of the official standings, which should be available by November 29th at this link.
1. Lee Chong Wei (MAS) – 65350
2. Chen Long (CHN) – 56550
3. Kenichi Tago (JPN) – 55460
4. Hu Yun (HKG) – 51120
5. Liew Daren (MAS) – 48240
6. Boonsak Ponsana (THA) – 47480
7. Du Pengyu (CHN) – 47020
8. Wang Zhengming (CHN) – 46570
9. Sho Sasaki (JPN) – 44820
10. Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (DEN) – 41670
11. Ajay Jayaram (IND) – 41600
1. Li Xuerui (CHN) – 71930
2. Juliane Schenk (GER) – 68350 (pictured)
3. Wang Yihan (CHN) – 64700
4. Wang Shixian (CHN) – 56000
5. Saina Nehwal (IND) – 55520
6. Jiang Yanjiao (CHN) – 55440
7. Tine Baun (DEN) – 52280
8. Sung Ji Hyun (KOR) – 50980
9. Eriko Hirose (JPN) – 50560
10. Ratchanok Intanon (THA) – 45090
11. Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (THA) – 43380
12. Gu Juan (SIN) – 39750
1. Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (MAS) – 62670
2. Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) – 57840
3. Hong Wei / Shen Ye (CHN) – 51920
4. Hirokatsu Hashimoto / Noriyasu Hirata (JPN) – 47930
5. Kim Ki Jung / Kim Sa Rang (KOR) – 47210
6. Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) – 44510
7. Bodin Issara / Maneepong Jongjit (THA) – 41770
8. Hoon Thien How / Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) – 39830
9. Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng (CHN) – 38260
10. Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra (INA) – 33120
1. Shizuka Matsuo / Mami Naito (JPN) – 67530
2. Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin (CHN) – 58760
3. Eom Hye Won / Jang Ye Na (KOR) – 49940
4. Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) – 48250
5. Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna (JPN) – 47250
6. Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang (CHN) – 46850
7. Duang Anong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul (THA) – 43730
8. Kamilla Rytter Juhl / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) – 40960
9. Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi (JPN) – 40660
10. Poon Lok Yan / Tse Ying Suet (HKG) – 39470
11. Gresya Polii / Meiliana Jauhari (INA) – 33910
1. Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) – 82400 (pictured)
2. Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying (MAS) – 73870
3. Tantowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir (INA) – 64110
4. Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei (CHN) – 42510
5. Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam (THA) – 39740
6. Joachim Fischer-Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) – 36590
7. Yoo Yeon Seong / Jang Ye Na (KOR) – 34520
8. Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota (JPN) – 31120
9. Muhammad Rijal / Debby Susanto (INA) – 30930
10. Songphon Anugritayawon / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul (THA) – 28980
11. Fran Kurniawan / Shendy Puspa Irawati (INA) – 28110
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