China nears a perfect ‘score’ for World Championships

China has received an additional 4 invitations to the upcoming BWF World Championships, bringing them just short of the maximum of 20 entries as the lists of badminton’s best fill […]

China has received an additional 4 invitations to the upcoming BWF , bringing them just short of the maximum of 20 entries as the lists of badminton’s best fill out for the showdown in Basel this August.

Photos: Badmintonphoto

When the first round of invitations went out earlier this month for the World Badminton Championships in Basel, China and Japan had each earned 15 invitations for their shuttlers to compete.  Nearly a month on, the process is well into Phase II and the quotas that required all 4 players or pairs to be ranked within the world’s top 8 have been superseded by a reserve list.

In the first phase, Japan’s 4 top women’s doubles pairs – all of whom were in the top 7 by the end of the qualifying period for the 2019 Worlds – were the only instance of a team having earned the maximum of 4 invitations to the Worlds.  However, China already had exactly 3 players and pairs invited in each of the 5 disciplines and now in Phase II, China’s fourths have begun to get the nods.

Men’s doubles is the discipline with the most teams maxed out.  After He/Tan were added to China’s invite list, they were followed by Japan’s Hoki/Kobayashi, Indonesia’s Angriawan/Hardianto, and by Abdul Latif/Azriyn of Malaysia.  This discipline was helped out a lot by the multiple withdrawals from 3 badminton powers.  Chinese Taipei and Denmark each disbanded two of their top-ranked pairs, while Korea declined invitations for two of its independent pairs, as well as for Asian Championship semi-finalists Kim Won Ho / Kang Min Hyuk (pictured right), as the Korean organization continues to prevaricate over what pairings to use and to decide in favour of just keeping its doubles players at home.

The same 3 teams declined invitations for multiple pairings in mixed and women’s doubles as well but Denmark declined two in mixed and still ended up with two invitations, which they then accepted.  Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, and Korea, on the other hand, did similarly, turning down 3, 2, and 2 invitations respectively, leaving each team with just a single pair to field in Basel.

The mixed doubles rejections did clear the way for two more fours, as Chen/Lu of China and Ronald Alexander / Annisa Saufika (pictured left) of Indonesia have also been invited.  In the event of further withdrawals, England is expected to get a third invitation and Japan a fourth.

So far, the only gang of four from one nation in either singles discipline is set to be China, as Lu Guangzu (pictured top) joins Shi Yuqi, Chen Long, and Lin Dan in being invited to Basel’s men’s singles event.  Women’s singles has no contingent yet larger than 3 but the first two on the reserve list are the fourth shuttlers from China and Japan, Cai Yanyan and Aya Ohori respectively.

In fact, the reserve list for women’s singles has so far been completely dormant.  While the return of Sudirman Cup absentee Sung Ji Hyun was fully expected by August, one of the surprise acceptances was that of Carolina Marin’s invitation.  The defending champion underwent surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament just a few months ago.

So far, China has 19 of a maximum possible 20 invitations for the Worlds.  Indonesia and Japan are next with 17 each.

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 @