Gwangju final but no Guangzhou Finals for Lin Dan?

Lin Dan is poised to take his second title of 2019 but word from the BWF is that he is not eligible from the points from the Gwangju Korea Masters […]

Lin Dan is poised to take his second title of 2019 but word from the BWF is that he is not eligible from the points from the Gwangju Korea Masters that might otherwise have sent him to the in Guangzhou.

The last article we published on the qualification race for the World Tour Finals (WTF) reflected the current understanding on the state of the men’s singles race.  The numbers then said that if Wang Tzu Wei were stopped in the second round he could be caught by Lin Dan winning the tournament.  Indeed with Wang having lost on Thursday to Lu Guangzu and with Lin Dan having won his semi-final today against compatriot Zhao Junpeng, all would suggest he were on the verge of qualifying for the big-money season finale.

Now, however, it appears that Lin Dan will be hampered by the limit on Super 300 events that is imposed on all Top Committed Players, by the BWF Player Commitment Regulation 2.8, which reads:

2.8.    Top Committed Players are allowed to play a maximum of four Grade 2, Level 5 [Super 300] Tournaments unless BWF give a special exemption or provided that the Player participates in all Grade 2, Level 1-4 Tournaments. World Points will be deducted for participating in more than four Tournaments if the requirements of clause 2.8 are not met.

Lin Dan already has points from 5 Super 300 events and he missed two Super 500 tournaments in 2019, the Malaysia Masters and the India Open.  Presumably, the BWF has given him the ‘special exemption’ mentioned above for the Australian Open, which the current Race to Guangzhou standings list as contributing 3850 points toward his WTF campaign.

Of course, the wording of Regulation 2.8 is quite vague.  Not only is there no mention of the process or criteria for the requesting and/or granting of the ‘special exemption’, but there is also no mention of whether such an exemption could apply to a sixth or seventh Super 300 event, nor of how many points will actually be deducted.

The latest BWF report on Guangzhou qualification did not mention Lin Dan’s situation, but it did mention both the 5th event exemption and the ineligibility for Gwangju points in the case of Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.  Other players who have played more than 4 super 300 events this year include Michelle Li and Malaysian men’s doubles pair Goh/Tan, but these players were outside the Top Committed category in November last year.  Awarding no points to Lin Dan for his Gwangju performance will result in Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei remaining the 8th player to qualify for the World Tour Finals.

Michelle Li’s situation got some attention on social media last week as her coach pointed out that at the time of the Korea Masters entry deadline, the BWF website had information that indicated WTF qualification would finish on November 12th.  Li, currently #8 on the World Rankings, has played in 7 Super 300 tournaments this year.  She will be passed in the Guangzhou standings on Tuesday by Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who competed in 5 Super 300s.

Photo: Yves Lacroix / Badmintonphoto

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 @