Race to Dubai World Superseries Finals gaining pace

Race to Dubai World Superseries Finals gaining pace

In fact a few of last year’s finalists in badminton’s most prestigious event are today struggling to qualify for the second $1 million MetLife BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex from December 9-13, 2015.



By Kt Report

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:11 PM


Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand

Dubai — Surprising turnarounds at the Australian and Indonesian opens on the world badminton circuit have brought up some new faces and they will be hard to contain by the more seasoned campaigners.

In fact a few of last year’s finalists in badminton’s most prestigious event are today struggling to qualify for the second $1 million MetLife BWF Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex from December 9-13, 2015.

And after victories in the BCA Indonesia Open earlier this month, 20 year old sensations Kento Momota of Japan and Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand have both played themselves into the top three in the rankings, ahead of many of the established stars of the game.

Only the eight top-ranked players from the Destination Dubai Rankings in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles will earn a place in the Dubai finale.

The Destination Dubai rankings points are amassed from the 12 MetLife BWF World Superseries Tournaments held throughout the year, and with six of the 12 BWF Metlife Superseries events now completed the race is on in earnest to qualify for Dubai.

In the men’s singles, the 2014 defending champion Chen Long of China is in brilliant form, having won three Superseries Titles this year, holding the number one spot and establishing himself as the player to beat.

But in a surprising outcome it seems likely that his opponent in last year’s final, Denmark’s Hans Kristian Vittinghus, will miss the cut as he is currently languishing in 25th place in the rankings. Only a complete reversal of his current form would see him force his way into the top eight and into the Dubai Finals.

Japan’s rising star Momota has claimed two podiums so far, taking home the OUE Singapore Open along with the BCA Indonesian Open titles, with the remaining Superseries event, the India Open, going to Kidambi Srikanth.

Despite not yet having a title to his name this year, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen has made the semifinals or finals in four events this year, and is in second place in the rankings just behind Chen and ahead of Momota.

Jorgensen’s young team-mate, 20 year old Viktor Axelsen has made two finals and has now stepped up as a serious contender, sitting in fourth on the rankings table just ahead of Srikanth and badminton legend Lin Dan of China.

Momota, after his Indonesian Open success, said: “I’m happy to win this title, it was a tough tournament and I’m pleased with my performance. I’m motivated to do even better to qualify for the Dubai World Superseries Finals after making it to the Finals last year. This time my goal is not only to qualify for the Finals but to win it.”

With six events to go including two premier events which score higher points, no player can rest on their laurels, and must still perform well in the final six events to ensure qualification.

World Champion Carolina Marin of Spain is on track to achieve her goal of qualifying for the women’s singles Superseries Finals in Dubai after missing out last year when she finished 15th in the rankings. In a repeat of Chen Long’s results this year, Marin has also taken three titles, the All-England, the Maybank Malaysia Open and the Star Australian Open, and is ranked number one.

Her closest rival is India’s Saina Nehwal who has held the world No.1 ranking three times this year.

Nehwal has claimed one title, the Yonex Sunrise India Open, but is consistently reaching at least the quarterfinals so has a firm grip on second place in the overall rankings.

Former world champion Ratchanok is hot on her heels, relegating the normally dominant Chinese contingent of Wang Shixian, Wang Yihan and Sun Yu to fourth, fifth and sixth. Sun is the only Chinese player to have taken a title this year, picking up the Oue Singapore Open. The next Metlife World Superseries event is the Yonex Japan Open which runs from September 8-13.


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