Putting the ‘World’ in the World Superseries

The MetLife BWF World Superseries is becoming a ‘World’ Superseries in more ways than one. By Pendi Kwok.  Photos: Badmintonphoto 8 different nations in a Superseries final: Spain is in! […]

The MetLife BWF World is becoming a ‘World’ in more ways than one.

By Pendi Kwok.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

8 different nations in a Superseries final: Spain is in!

While it is hard to actually come up with figures to prove that badminton is getting more popular globally – either in terms of participation or as a spectator sport – it is crystal clear that more and more countries are making their mark in the world’s top competition of the sport.

The spectacular Australian Badminton Open 2014 is one of the latest exhibits.  Obviously, the extension of the Superseries to a third continent, after seven years of being limited to Europe and Asia, was a major step.  But the final weekend of this tournament showed signs that success in the Badminton World Federation (BWF)’s top echelon of Open events is becoming more global in other ways too.

Semi-finals day at the Star Australian Badminton Open 2014 featured players from 11 different nations, while players from eight countries competed for the titles on finals day in Sydney.  Each of these figures marked only the fifth time in the 98 Superseries tournaments held since the launch of the series in January, 2007 that the weekend had seen such diversity.

Moreover, the fact that the fourth of those 8-nation finals days was none other than the Japan Open, just two weeks earlier, might suggest that a trend could even be in the making.  In fact, the first two of the five incidences in question were also at tournaments to which the powerful Chinese team had sent few or no shuttlers.

Finally, in addition to Superseries mainstays India, Germany, Korea, Indonesia, China, Japan, and Taiwan, a first ever appearance in a final was achieved by a shuttler from Spain.  Yes, you read that correctly, it is Spain!  Spain has entered into a new era of badminton with their rising star, Carolina Marin.

That the 21-year-old would become Spain’s first ever European Badminton Champion, as well as the first Spanish player to ever reach a Superseries final, was something the badminton world has been expecting, especially since her performances at last year’s World Championships and also at the autumn Grand Prix events.  However, this is great news for the development of badminton and who knows?  There could well be more “Carolinas” out there in other countries just waiting to grow badminton into an even bigger and more global sport.

As Marin edges back into the world’s top ten, the Metlife BWF World Superseries begins a long break to accommodate the World Championships and the Incheon Asian Games.  When it resumes, the hunt will continue as players from around the globe take aim at the top 8 in the Superseries rankings, which are still ruled by shuttlers from just ten nations, for now…

Most nations active in Superseries semi-finals – 11
Djarum Indonesia Open 2010
Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open 2010
Li-Ning Singapore Open 2012
Yonex Sunrise India Open 2013
The Star Australian Open 2014

Most nations active in Superseries semi-finals – 8
Li-Ning Singapore Open 2010 (DEN, INA, IND, KOR, SIN, THA, TPE, USA)
Djarum Indonesia Open 2010 (INA, IND, JPN, KOR, MAS, POL, RUS, THA, TPE)
Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2013 (CHN, DEN, GER, INA, JPN, KOR, MAS, THA)
Yonex Japan Open 2014 (CHN, GER, HKG, INA, JPN, KOR, MAS, TPE)
The Star Australian Open 2014 (CHN, ESP, GER, INA, IND, JPN, KOR, TPE)

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