The year 2015 could not have ended on a better note.
The Dubai World Superseries Finals provided the perfect stage to close the BWF World Superseries season; the top eight players of the world clashing in the desert city under the gaze of a newly-acquired fan base. The high quality of organisation and presentation served to highlight the new standards that badminton can aspire for and achieve.
Positioned as it was in December, the week-long event also served as a trailer to what might unfold in 2016 and beyond.
The Men’s Singles final, for instance, had Japan’s Kento Momota against Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. Both in their early 20s, and both former World Junior champions, Momota and Axelsen are the likeliest faces to dominate Men’s Singles badminton over the next decade.
Or take the Women’s Singles final, in which Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara outplayed China’s Wang Yihan. The match could well serve to illustrate the new reality in Women’s Singles – that of the emergence of Japan – and the arrival of a new generation (Okuhara) at the expense of an older generation (Wang Yihan).
That China managed only one title – Women’s Doubles – was a reflection of how competitive badminton has become in all five categories.
While Luo Ying/Luo Yu continued China’s tradition of dominating Women’s Doubles by winning the title, the Chinese fell short in the Men’s Doubles title clash as Chai Biao/Hong Wei were outclassed by World champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.
The Mixed Doubles title was taken by England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock – it was only their second Superseries title.
After a hiatus, which will help players recover from their physical and mental exertions, the MetLife BWF World Superseries season will start in 2016 with the Yonex All England in March. With the Olympic qualifying season ending in early May, each tournament will be important for players to rack up qualifying points. Apart from the All England, the Yonex-Sunrise India Open (29 March-3 April), the Malaysia Open (5-10 April) and Singapore Open (12-17 April) are the Superseries events that fall within the Olympic qualifying timeline.
The new Superseries season will be tracked exclusively on our Superseries site. Follow all our Superseries reports and profiles on: www.bwfworldsuperseries.com.