Friday, February 24, 2017
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Thaihot China Open champion Jan O Jorgensen leads the Race to Glasgow rankings in Men’s Singles with nine weeks left for the TOTAL BWF World Championships qualifying period to end.
The Race to Glasgow tracks the ranking status of players from the start of the qualifying period (week 17 of 2016). The qualifying period will run through to the last Thursday of April, completing the 52-week cycle. The world rankings of that day (27 April 2017) will determine the eligibility of players for the TOTAL BWF World Championships.
The BWF ranking list on that date will be used to determine eligibility for 64 places in Men’s Singles; 48 places in Women’s Singles; and 48 pairs in each of the three doubles categories.
A Member Association can field a maximum of four players/pairs in each category if they are all ranked within the top 8; three if they are ranked within 24 and two if they are ranked within 150.
Denmark’s Jorgensen has played 11 tournaments in the qualifying period so far, accumulating 69,274 points, ahead of Son Wan Ho (Korea), who has played 13 tournaments for 62,963 points.
Following behind them is Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who will hope this will be his lucky year after falling in four finals. Despite playing only seven tournaments, Lee has 61,353 points, thanks to his World Superseries title wins in Indonesia and Japan, besides his runner-up place in the Rio Olympics. Lee however is ranked No.1 in the Notional Rankings, which reflects his performance over the last 52 weeks.
World and Olympic champion Chen Long (China) is way down the Race to Glasgow rankings at No.15, due to his limited participation since winning the gold in Rio. Chen has played five tournaments in the qualifying period and earned 43,784 points; the defending champion is however likely to catch up as he gets going in 2017.
Others in the top ten are Dubai World Superseries Finals champion Viktor Axelsen (Denmark, No.4); China’s Tian Houwei (No.5); Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long (No.6); China’s Shi Yuqi (No.7); Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen (No.8); Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki (No.9) and Korea’s Lee Hyun Il (No.10). Five-time World champion Lin Dan is at No.41, having collected 27,138 points from four tournaments in the qualifying period thus far.
Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying had been in great form in the latter half of 2016, and that has reflected in her rankings – both in the Race to Glasgow, and in the Notional Rankings. Tai has 77,641 points from 13 tournaments, ahead of Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun (71,426 from 12), Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi (67,831 from 13) and India’s Pusarla V Sindhu (63,879 from 10).
Sun Yu is the highest-ranked Chinese shuttler at No.5; following her is World and Olympic champion Carolina Marin (Spain) with 60,084 points from 9 tournaments. China’s He Bingjiao, India’s Saina Nehwal, Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara are the others in the top ten.
Denmark duo Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen are top of the field with 69,140 points, thanks to their Superseries win in France and runner-up places in China and Hong Kong. Olympic silver medallists Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong (Malaysia) are in second spot, followed by Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open champions Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (Japan) in third.
Two Chinese pairs – Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen and Chai Biao/Hong Wei – follow. At No.6 are Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (53,051 points from 9 tournaments). Chinese Taipei’s Lee Jhe-Huei/Lee Yang; Indonesia’s Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi; Denmark’s Mads Pieler Kolding/Mads Conrad-Petersen and their compatriots Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen are also in the top ten.
Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi are comfortably perched on top of the list with 85,926 points from 12 tournaments. The Japanese duo, in search of their first World title, had a standout season in 2016 and that is reflected in their rankings.
Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl, runners-up in Rio, are at No.2, while Rio bronze medallists Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan (Korea) are placed third with 69,284 points from 11 events, followed by compatriots Chang Ye Na/Lee So Hee, winners of the China Open.
Dubai World Superseries Finals champions Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan’s rapid rise is reflected in their fifth spot; they are trailed by compatriots Luo Ying/Luo Yu. Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai are placed on either side of No.8 Japanese Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao. Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei also find a spot in the top ten.
Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen’s rampaging run saw them storm to the Dubai title in December after earlier successes in Japan and France. The Chinese duo lead both the Race to Glasgow (82,282 points) and the Notional Rankings.
Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na (No.2) are some distance behind with 73,970 points. Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen (No.3); China’s Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong (No.4) and Olympic gold medallists Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia, No.5) follow. Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing; Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto; England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock; Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying and Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah are all within the top ten.