Jakarta surprises in store from former #1s

Former world #1s Yoo Yeon Seong, Kim Ha Na, Lee Hyun Il, Tang Jinhua, and Bao Yixin all figure into some interesting entries for the next Superseries badminton event. By […]

Former world #1s Yoo Yeon Seong, Kim Ha Na, Lee Hyun Il, Tang Jinhua, and Bao Yixin all figure into some interesting entries for the next badminton event.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Badmintonphoto

Korean veterans Yoo Yeon Seong (pictured left) and Kim Gi Jung are among the biggest names who are conspicuously absent from the entry lists for next month’s Superseries Premier.  Kim’s men’s doubles partner Choi Sol Gyu has been entered in the men’s doubles with Kim Duk Young but they are Korea’s only pair in the discipline.  Meanwhile, Yoo’s most recent mixed doubles partner Kim Ha Na will also be paired with Kim Duk Young.  It will be the Korea Open champion’s first individual tournament since it became official that she and Yoo would not even come close to qualifying for the World Championships this summer.

Kim Ha Na is in her home province starting this weekend for the 34th annual Korea-Japan bi-nation challenge.  All of the top women will be there, aside from Asian Championship runner-up Yoo Hae Won, but the men’s squad will be a very young, inexperienced one, with neither Kim Gi Jung nor Yoo Yeon Seong, nor even Yoo’s partner Kim Jae Hwan.  It is impossible to treat this an an implication that the two veterans might also miss the Sudirman Cup, however.  Both Yoo Yeon Seong and then partner Lee Yong Dae missed last year’s Korea-Japan challenge, which took place in the run-up to the Thomas Cup finals.

China’s former world #1 pair Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua (pictured right) are slated for a reunion in Jakarta in June.  The two veterans, who last played together in the spring of 2015, are are doing a partner swap that will also see Huang Yaqiong reunited with Yu Xiaohan.  Those two, who played together as juniors and later won the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold together, were split up in late 2014.

Two singles players’ entries stand out as marking the end of long lay-offs.   Former world #1 Lee Hyun Il, who injured his eye in the final of this year’s Malaysia Masters, is set to play in the main draw.  A bigger surprise comes in the mixed doubles, where deep in the reserve list is the name of former top singles player Bellaetrix Manuputty (pictured bottom).  Not seen since being forced to retire first from the 2015 Sudirman Cup semi-final, then from the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix later that year, Manuputty is down to play mixed with Rafiddias Akhdan Nugroho.

Click here to download the complete Indonesia Open entry 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 @ badzine.net