Ins and outs of World Championship qualifying

Phase II of the qualifying process for this summer’s World Badminton Championships is complete and a total of 44 spots have been declined by the BWF’s member associations. By Don […]

Phase II of the qualifying process for this summer’s World Badminton Championships is complete and a total of 44 spots have been declined by the BWF’s member associations.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

The qualifying period for the upcoming BWF ended in late May and already, BWF member associations have started doing the paperwork on who they want to represent them in Guangzhou.  With 44 players’ spots at the Worlds already declined, it is clearly not a case of letting the chips fall where they may.

Out with the old, in with the old

Only four players currently qualified are showing up as having officially retired: Lee Hyun Il, Tine Baun, and Shintaro Ikeda / Reiko Shiota.  Dozens more players or pairs have been inactive since the beginning of 2013 and many of these figure into the players declined, of course.  In the case of France, Singapore, and Japan, declining spots for disbanded pairs will reduce their representation in Guangzhou.

However, not all badminton associations are created equal and two teams in particular will be re-uniting disbanded pairs in order to increase their representation at the World Championships.  For example, China’s Tian Qing has not played a single match this year with Zhao Yunlei (pictured) but they will team up in Guangzhou.  Shen Ye has been sidelined several times this spring, including from the upcoming Sudirman Cup, while his regular partner Hong Wei has been tested with new partners but Hong and Shen will be put back together for the Worlds.

In both cases, re-uniting the pairs was the only way to ensure their would be three Chinese entries in the draw.  Incidentally, while a maximum of four competitors in one event was possible, were a nation to have all four ranked in the top 8, this was not done by any country in any discipline this year and the only quartet of one country’s players in any draw came with Lin Dan’s wild card, which will permit him to join Chen Long, Du Pengyu, and Wang Zhengming.

Korea and Japan will get into the same act.  Putting Eom Hye Won back together with Jang Ye Na allows Korea to send three in women’s doubles, as does Japan’s decision to keep Satoko Suetsuna with Miyuki Maeda, even though Suetsuna will not be playing in the Sudirman Cup or at the Indonesia Open.

Korea did not even have to separate German Open champions Shin Baek Cheol and Jang Ye Na – reuniting Shin with Eom Hye Won (pictured top) and Jang with Yoo Yeon Seong – in order to get two pairs into the mixed doubles draw in Guangzhou.  However, the move does get Yoo Yeon Seong back into the fray, as does the selection of Son Wan Ho for men’s singles.  Neither player has been in a competition this year, since beginning their military service but both are expected to make their 2013 debuts at the Thailand Open next month.

Make room

About a quarter of the cases involve a straight up substitution of a lower-ranked player for a higher-ranked compatriot who is still active.  Typically national associations make these decisions based on factors such as recent form or perceived potential in the case of a young player or new pairing.  In other cases, players who are part of a national programme can be shown preference over independent players.

A two-time beneficiary here was Canada’s Michelle Li (pictured), who stayed home for several months after taking part in the Olympics in two events.  Li was the third ranked Canadian in both women’s singles and doubles at the end of April and was promoted past  Nicole Grether, the top-ranked Canadian player in both disciplines.

In none of these cases did a country end up with fewer entries for Guangzhou.

Below are shown the ten substitutions where players who have played since this year’s All England were not chosen for the Worlds.  The world rankings shown are last week’s, as in some cases, these reflect recent results that may have come before the decisions to decline were made.

Mattias Wigardt (WR#113) for Gabriel Ulldahl (WR#94), SWE2, MS
Olga Konon (WR#65) for Karin Schnaase (WR#41), GER2, WS
Michelle Li (WR#93), CAN2, for Nicole Grether (WR#41), CAN1, WS
Sandra-Maria Jensen (WR#102), DEN2, for Karina Jorgensen (WR#66), DEN1, WS
Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Chayut Triyachart (WR#117) for Terry Yeo / Liu Yi (WR#67), SIN1, MD
Joel Johansson-Berg / Nico Ruponen (WR#103) for Patrick Lundqvist / Jonathan Nordh (WR#60), SWE1, MD
Narissapat Lam / Saralee Thoungthongkam (WR#22) for Savitree Amitrapai / Taerattanachai Sapsiree (WR#16), THA2, WD
Alex Bruce / Michelle Li (WR#97), CAN2, for Nicole Grether / Charmaine Reid (WR#40), CAN1, WD
Fran Kurniawan / Shendy Puspa Irawati (WR#9) for Markis Kido / Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth (WR#10), INA3, XD
Jelle Maas / Iris Tabeling (WR#53) for Jacco Arends / Ilse Vaessen (WR#45), NED2, XD

No room at the IN’s

Another group of declined qualifiers are those for whom no substitution was made and a country thus loses one or all representation at the World Championships for the discipline.  This happens periodically and is often related to funding availability.  The rate for this year’s Worlds is much higher than it was for the Olympics last year, when only a few athletes from the Netherlands and New Zealand were not permitted to use their quota spots for London.

The teams from the Netherlands and Austria have a number of these and they are left with entries only in two disciplines each.

Kieran Merrilees (WR#89), SCO1, MS – no Scottish representation
Patty Stolzenbach (WR#83), NED2, WS – no Dutch representation
Michelle Chan (WR#69), NZL1, WS – no New Zealand representation
Simone Prutsch (WR#73), AUT1, WS – no Austrian representation
Jacco Arends / Jelle Maas (WR#35) and Jorrit De Ruiter / Dave Khodabux (WR#61), NED 1&2, MD – no Dutch representation
Juergen Koch / Peter Zauner (WR#54), AUT1, MD – no Austrian representation
Selena Piek / Iris Tabeling (pictured above)  (WR#36) and Samantha Barning / Eefje Muskens (WR#42), NED 1&2, WD – no Dutch representation
Sarah Thomas / Carissa Turner (WR#63), WAL1, WD – no Welsh representation
Lorraine Baumann / Lea Palermo (WR#64), FRA2, WD
Roman Zirnwald / Elisabeth Baldauf (WR#46), AUT1, XD – no Austrian representation
Wojciech Szkudlarczyk / Agnieszka Wojtkowska (WR#49), POL2, XD

The remaining substitutions and declined spots involve players who are either inactive or who have new partners.  The ones that have resulted in a reduction of the country’s representation have been shown in purple.

Men’s singles
Toby Penty (WR#82) for Andrew Smith (WR#72), ENG2

Women’s singles
Yao Jie (WR#32), NED1
Xing Aiying (WR#46) for Fu Mingtian (WR#44), SIN2

Men’s doubles
Songphon Anugritayawon / Sudket Prapakamol (WR#78) and Maneepong Jongjit / Nipitphon Puangpuapech (pictured) (WR#57) for Bodin Issara / Maneepong Jongjit (WR#15) and Patiphat Chalardchaleam / Nipitphon Puangpuapech (WR#25), THA 1&2
Antoine Lodiot / Julien Maio (WR#116), FRA1 for Baptiste Careme / Gaetan Mittelheisser (WR#37) and Ronan Labar / Mathias Quere (WR#69)
Peter Kaesbauer / Josche Zurwonne (WR#63) for Michael Fuchs / Oliver Roth (WR#45), GER2
Howard Bach / Tony Gunawan (WR#93), USA2
Joe Morgan / Nic Strange Wales (WR#97), WAL1

Women’s doubles
Miyuki Maeda / Satoko Suetsuna (WR#8) for Shizuka Matsuo / Mami Naito  (WR#4), JPN2
Fu Mingtian / Xing Aiying (WR#115), SIN1 for Shinta Mulia Sari / Yao Lei (WR#20) and Vanessa Neo / Dellis Yuliana (WR#73)
Irina Khlebko / Ksenia Polikarpova (WR#46) for Valeria Sorokina / Nina Vislova (WR#44), RUS2
Imogen Bankier / Petya Nedelcheva (WR#73) for Petya Nedelcheva / Dimitria Popstoikova (WR#39), BUL2
Chiang Kai Hsin / Tsai Pei-Ling (WR#56) for Cheng Wen Hsing / Chien Yu Chin (WR#43), TPE1
Wang Rong / Zhang Zhibo (WR#45), MAC1
Kamila Augustyn / Agnieszka Wojtkowska (WR#69), POL1
Jacqueline Guan / Gronya Somerville (WR#104) for Leanne Choo / Renuga Veeran (WR#70), AUS1

Mixed doubles
Chris Adcock / Gabrielle White (WR#26), ENG2 for Marcus Ellis / Gabrielle White (WR#25), ENG1
Gaetan Mittelheisser / Emilie Lefel (WR#42), FRA1 for Baptiste Careme / Audrey Fontaine (WR#29) and Ronan Labar / Laura Choinet (WR#35)
Liu Yi / Thng Ting Ting (WR#48) for Terry Yeo / Dellis Yuliana (WR#37), SIN2
Luke Chong / Victoria Na (WR#110), AUS1

Click here to see the complete qualifying lists from the BWF website

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 @