BWF Statement on Withdrawal of Turkish and Indonesian Players

BWF Statement on Withdrawal of Turkish and Indonesian Players

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton England can confirm one more player – Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit – has been withdrawn from the YONEX All England Open 2021. Yigit was on the same inbound flight from Turkey to UK as the Indonesian team.

Indonesian Team Withdrawn from YONEX All England Open 2021

The UK Government’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service did also communicate notice of the required self-isolation to Yigit, with BWF and Badminton England receiving confirmation early Thursday morning GMT.

Neslihan Yigit of Turkey.

Both BWF and Badminton England would like to clarify that the decision to enforce Indonesian team players and entourage, and now Yigit, to self-isolate for 10 days was made independently by the NHS Test and Trace service.

This action is in accordance with the UK Government COVID-19 protocols and requirements as per its national legislation, and separate to any guidelines set by BWF and Badminton England in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place for the YONEX All England Open 2021.

Subsequently, BWF and Badminton England had no other option but to follow the NHS directive and withdraw the participants from the tournament.

Read BWF Statement in Bahasa Indonesia

This is a very unfortunate circumstance and something BWF and Badminton England did not wish for the Indonesian team and Yigit from Turkey. We can confirm impassioned attempts were made by Badminton England to gain exemption for the players and Indonesian team members, and to explore alternative options to guarantee their participation. However, the UK Government’s legislation is in place to, first and foremost, protect the British public against COVID-19 and their decision was final and non-negotiable.

BWF and Badminton England are in contact with the those impacted and are committed to supporting all individuals right through their self-isolation period. We also share the frustration felt by the players, as well as the many Indonesian supporters around the world. We sympathise greatly with what has happened and apologise for the inconvenience caused to the Indonesian players and team entourage, and Yigit from Turkey. We assure you we are doing the best we can within our powers, including to continue to provide a safe environment for all participants.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in their first round match in Birmingham before they were asked to self-isolate.

Unfortunately, BWF and Badminton England cannot operate outside the protocols and operating procedures determined by the local government health authority in command.

While it is with regret that the Indonesian players and Yigit will not be able to compete in the current or next round of the tournament, we can confirm that the championships will continue with Day 2 action commencing 9am GMT.

Indonesian Team Withdrawn from YONEX All England Open 2021
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in their first round match in Birmingham before they were asked to self-isolate.

Indonesian Team Withdrawn from YONEX All England Open 2021

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton England can confirm that a number of players and team members from the Indonesian team have been contacted by the UK Government’s National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace service and are required to self-isolate with immediate effect. In accordance with UK Government requirements, the entire team will self-isolate for 10 days from the date of their inbound flight after a person travelling onboard tested positive for COVID-19.

All Indonesian players will not be able to compete in the current or next round of the tournament and have therefore been withdrawn from the YONEX All England Open 2021.

While we regret this unfortunate consequence, BWF and Badminton England will continue to follow all protocols required by the UK Government and the local health authorities to ensure the safety of all participants.

All results to date will stand and the draw will remain unchanged. All scheduled opponents in the next round will be given a walkover.


Changes to HSBC BWF World Tour 2021 Tournament Calendar

Changes to HSBC BWF World Tour 2021 Tournament Calendar

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) can announce changes to the HSBC BWF World Tour 2021 tournament calendar.

  • The CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open 2021 (Super 750) will now occur 25-30 May.
  • The PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2021 (Super 500) has been postponed until further notice.
  • The Singapore Open 2021 (Super 500) has been moved to the new dates of 1-6 June.

Badminton Association of Malaysia and Singapore Badminton Association made the respective decisions in consultation and collaboration with the BWF.

Both cited ongoing COVID-19 complications and wished for the tournaments to be delayed.

In securing new dates for the CELCOM AXIATA Malaysia Open and Singapore Open, BWF confirms the Indonesia Masters 2021 and Indonesia Open 2021 have been postponed also.

Replacement dates for those tournaments will be announced in due course.

The Olympic Qualifying period for the Race to Tokyo will now close on 15 June 2021, with the last tournament counting for qualification being the Singapore Open 2021.

BWF is working with the IOC to update the Tokyo 2020 qualification system whereby the final updated regulation will be shared once ready following formal approval by IOC.

Preparations for upcoming HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments continue as international badminton is set to resume with the YONEX Swiss Open 2021 (2-7 March) and YONEX All England Open 2021 (17-21 March).

Click here for the revised tournament calendar








男单项目 (完整排名点击此处查看)

1 桃田贤斗 (日本)
2 维克多·阿克塞尔森(丹麦)
3 安德斯·安东森 (丹麦)
4 周天成 (中国台北)
5 安东尼·西尼苏卡·金廷 (印度尼西亚)
6 谌龙 (中国)
7 乔纳坦·克里斯蒂 (印度尼西亚)
8 伍家朗 (中国香港)
9 王子维(中国台北)
10 石宇奇(中国)

女单项目 (完整排名点击此处查看)

1 戴资颖 (中国台北)
2 陈雨菲(中国)
3 卡罗莱纳·马林(西班牙)
4 奥原希望 (日本)
5 山口茜(日本)
6 拉差诺·因达农 (泰国)
7 普萨拉·辛德胡 (印度)
8 安洗莹(韩国)
9 何冰娇(中国)
10 李文珊(加拿大)

男双项目 (完整排名点击此处查看)

1 吉迪恩·苏卡穆约 (印度尼西亚)
2 阿山/塞蒂亚万(印度尼西亚)
3 李洋/王齐麟 (中国台北)
4 李俊慧/刘雨辰 (中国)
5 嘉村健士/园田启悟 (日本)
6 渡边勇大/远藤大由 (日本)
7 阿尔菲/阿迪安托安 (印度尼西亚)
8 催率圭/徐承宰 (韩国)
9 谢定峰/苏伟译 (马来西亚)
10 兰基雷迪/谢蒂(印度)

女双项目 (完整排名点击此处查看)

1 福岛由纪/广田彩花(日本)
2 陈清晨/贾一凡 (中国)
3 松本麻佑/永原和可那 (日本)
4 李绍希/申昇瓒 (韩国)
5 金昭映/孔熙容(韩国)
6 波莉/拉哈尤 (印度尼西亚)
7 杜玥/李茵晖 (中国)
8 基蒂塔拉库尔/巴宗哉(泰国)
9 张艺娜/金慧麟 (韩国)
10 邹美君/李明艳 (马来西亚)

混双项目 (完整排名点击此处查看)

1 郑思维/黄雅琼 (中国)
2 德差波/沙西丽 (泰国)
3 王懿律/黄东萍 (中国)
4 乔丹/梅拉蒂 (印度尼西亚)
5 徐承宰/蔡侑玎 (韩国)
6 渡边勇大/东野有纱(日本)
7 陈炳顺/吴柳莹 (马来西亚)
8 费萨尔/维德佳佳 (印度尼西亚)
9 埃利斯/史密斯 (英格兰)
10 吴顺发/赖洁敏(马来西亚)


Para Badminton Tournament Calendar for 2021

Para Badminton Tournament Calendar for 2021

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has announced the Para Badminton Tournament Calendar for 2021.

The Spanish Para Badminton International to be staged in May 2021 will serve as the last qualification tournament for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Week Dates Tournament City
13 29 Mar–4 Apr 3rd Fazza–Dubai Para Badminton International Dubai
19 10–16 May Spanish Para Badminton International Cartagena
25 21-27 Jun Irish Para Badminton International Dublin
35 1-5 Sept Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Tokyo
TBC TBC Peru Para Badminton International Lima
43 25–31 Oct BWF Para Badminton World Championships Tokyo
46 15-21 Nov Uganda Para Badminton International Kampala
49 5-9 Dec Asian Youth Para Games Manama

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said the main priority was to ensure the completion of the last qualification tournament for the Tokyo Paralympic Games and to maximise participation.

“We are fully aware that the lack of international Para badminton tournament activity has been challenging for all players, and very frustrating. We thank the playing group for their patience, support and cooperation in allowing us to form this calendar.

“The debut of Para badminton at the Tokyo Paralympic Games remains a key milestone for us, and BWF is committed to ensuring an inspirational first appearance on the Paralympic sports programme.

“COVID-19 has indeed been a barrier to the growth and development of Para badminton and the ability of players to participate in international competitions.

“But we are confident that with tournaments back on the horizon, and the prospect of seeing our players back on court, we can keep building international competition pathways for athletes, grow global participation and integrate Para badminton into BWF’s existing systems and structures during the COVID-19 era.”

The BWF will publish an updated qualification timeline after consultation with the International Paralympic Committee.

BWF Unfreezes World Rankings

BWF Unfreezes World Rankings

The BWF World Rankings have been unfrozen following the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020.

Chinese Taipei provides two of the biggest movers with three-peat champions in Bangkok, Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, rising four places up to No.3 in men’s doubles and Wang Tzu Wei inside the Top 10 in men’s singles for the first time, up four places to No.9 in the world.

Malaysia’s women’s doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean also rose for place to  debut inside the world’s top 10.

Kento Momota and Tai Tzu Ying remain world No.1s in men’s and women’s singles respectively, while Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, and Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong still lead the way in the doubles categories.

BWF froze the rankings lists on 31 March 2020 in response to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Men’s Singles (full rankings)

1 Kento Momota (Japan)
2 Viktor Axelsen (Denmark)
3 Anders Antonsen (Denmark)
4 Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei)
5 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia)
6 Chen Long (China)
7 Jonatan Christie (Indonesia)
8 Ng Ka Long Angus (Hong Kong China)
9 Wang Tzu Wei (Chinese Taipei)
10 Shi Yu Qi (China)

Women’s Singles (full rankings)

1 Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)
2 Chen Yu Fei (China)
3 Carolina Marin (Spain)
4 Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
5 Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)
6 Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand)
7 Pusarla V. Sindhu (India)
8 An Se Young (Korea)
9 He Bing Jiao (China)
10 Michelle Li (Canada)

Men’s Doubles (full rankings)

1 Gideon/Sukamuljo (Indonesia)
2 Ahsan/Setiawan (Indonesia)
3 Lee/Wang (Chinese Taipei)
4 Li/Liu (China)
5 Kamura/Sonoda (Japan)
6 Endo/Watanabe (Japan)
7 Alfian/Ardianto (Indonesia)
8 Choi/Seo (Korea)
9 Chia/Soh (Malaysia)
10 Rankireddy/Chetty (India)

Women’s Doubles (full rankings)

1 Fukushima/Hirota (Japan)
2 Chen/Jia (China)
3 Matsumoto/Nagahara (Japan)
4 Lee/Shin (Korea)
5 Kim/Kong (Korea)
6 Polii/Rahayu (Indonesia)
7 Du/Li (China)
8 Kititharakul/Prajongjai (Thailand)
9 Chang/Kim (Korea)
10 Chow/Lei (Malaysia)

Mixed Doubles (full rankings)

1 Zheng/Huang (China)
2 Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai (Thailand)
3 Wang/Huang (China)
4 Jordan/Oktavianti (Indonesia)
5 Seo/Chae (Korea)
6 Watanabe/Higashino (Japan)
7 Chan/Goh (Malaysia)
8 Faizal/Widjaja (Indonesia)
9 Ellis/Smith (England)
10 Goh/Lai (Malaysia)














HSBC BWF World Tour Finals Qualifiers Announced

HSBC BWF World Tour Finals Qualifiers Announced

Badminton World Federation (BWF) has confirmed the qualifiers for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals to take place 27-31 January in Bangkok, Thailand.

The top eight players and pairs for each category in the HSBC BWF Road to Bangkok Rankings have been invited.

Only a maximum of two (2) players or pairs per Member Association are permitted to participate.

**Qualifiers 1-4 in each category are seeded**

Men’s Singles

Ranking Player Country Points Tournaments Played Qualifying Position
1 Viktor Axelsen Denmark 57220 6 1
2 Anders Antonsen Denmark 40820 6 2
3 Chou Tien Chen Chinese Taipei 40520 6 3
4 Rasmus Gemke Denmark 37020 7 Not Eligible
5 Wang Tzu Wei Chinese Taipei 35240 8 4
6 Ng Ka Long Angus Hong Kong China 35020 6 5
7 Kidambi Srikanth India 31360 9 6
8 Lee Zii Jia Malaysia 29390 6 7
9 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting Indonesia 27620 5 8


Women’s Singles

Ranking Player Country Points Tournaments Played Qualifying Position
1 Carolina Marin Spain 73820 9 1
2 Tai Tzu Ying Chinese Taipei 40200 4 2
3 Ratchanok Intanon Thailand 38250 6 3
4 An Se Young Korea 37140 7 4
5 Pornpawee Chochuwong Thailand 33860 8 5
6 Michelle Li Canada 28940 5 6
7 Nozomi Okuhara Japan 28040 4 Not Eligible
8 Busanan Ongbamrungphan Thailand 27870 7 Not Eligible
9 Evgeniya Kosetskaya Russia 26750 9 7
10 Pusarla V. Sindhu India 24840 5 8


Men’s Doubles

Ranking Pair Country Points Tournaments Played Qualifying Position
1 Lee/Wang Chinese Taipei 51180 7 1
2 Chia/Soh Malaysia 36390 7 2
3 Ahsan/Setiawan Indonesia 35820 5 3
4 Ong/Teo Malaysia 35080 6 4
5 Ivanov/Sozonov Russia 33710 8 5
6 Ellis/Langridge England 33270 6 6
7 Lane/Vendy England 32040 8 7
8 Choi/Seo Korea 29640 7 8


Women’s Doubles

Ranking Pair Country Points Tournaments Played Qualifying Position
1 Polii/Rahayu Indonesia 46020 6 1
2 Kim/Kong Korea 43360 6 2
3 Lee/Shin Korea 40930 6 3
4 Chang/Kim Korea 37130 7 Not Eligible
5 Birch/Smith England 34170 8 4
6 Kititharakul/Prajongjai Thailand 33690 7 5
7 Fukushima/Hirota Japan 30200 4 Not Eligible
8 Efler/Herttrich Germany 29980 9 6
9 Chow/Lee Malaysia 29340 7 7
10 Hoo/Yap Malaysia 26160 7 8


Mixed Doubles

Ranking Pair Country Points Tournaments Played Qualifying Position
1 Ellis/Smith England 46100 8 1
2 Lamsfuss/Herttrich Germany 42040 9 2
3 Puavaranukroh/Taerattanachai Thailand 41400 5 3
4 Gicquel/Delrue France 38870 7 4
5 Jordan/Oktavianti Indonesia 32460 5 5
6 Seo/Chae Korea 31440 5 6
7 Faizal/Widjaja Indonesia 30790 6 7
8 Goh/Lai Malaysia 29990 7 8


It was mandatory for players to enter both the YONEX Thailand Open and TOYOTA Thailand Open in order to be eligible to qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals.

The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok concludes the 2020 World Tour season. The qualifying tournaments were:

  • ECOGREEN Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2019
  • PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2020
  • DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2020
  • Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020
  • Barcelona Spain Masters 2020
  • YONEX All England Open 2020
  • DANISA Denmark Open 2020
  • YONEX Thailand Open 2021
  • TOYOTA Thailand Open 2021

The draw for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals is scheduled for 10am Bangkok time on Tuesday 26 January 2021. It will be LIVE STREAMED on BWF Facebook and YouTube channels.

If you haven’t already, please register for the BWF Digital Media Hub to access content for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, including the draw.

BWF Statement on Kidambi Srikanth

BWF Statement on Kidambi Srikanth

Badminton World Federation (BWF) can provide an explanation on the incident involving India player Kidambi Srikanth at the YONEX Thailand Open, part of the Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour.

On Tuesday, the player indicated he suffered a nose bleed following a mandatory PCR test. A doctor from COVID-19 testing team located at the hotel attended to Kidambi shortly after.

Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) issued this statement:

The athlete had been swabbed three times earlier with the most recent one possibly causing irritation and fragility of the capillaries.

Therefore, when the swab was repeated on Tuesday, and factoring in the athlete’s tense nature, the position of the stick in the nasal passage was misaligned, which caused the slight bleeding noticed from the tip of the swab.

The COVID-19 staff member did not notice any bleeding from the athlete’s nose and there was no complaint from Kidambi at that point.

After about three to five minutes, another athlete from the India team reported that Kidambi had a nosebleed.

It is not known whether the athlete had blown his nose or stuck tissue up his nostrils which could have caused more blood vessels to rupture.

Badminton Association of Thailand, Thonburi Healthcare Group and the Ministry of Public Health have a strict COVID-19 prevention policy to do the nasal passage swab as often as every three to four days for early detection to reassure the athletes and their entourage to stay COVID-19 free throughout the tournament.

BWF continues to work with BAT and the Thai health authorities to ensure the safest and most comfortable conditions for all players and participants.

Third Round of Testing Returns One Positive Test

Third Round of Testing Returns One Positive Test

BWF can confirm four players tested positive for COVID-19 in Bangkok, Thailand today after the third round of mandatory testing was conducted on Monday 11 January, 2021.

BWF was informed this morning hours before the start of the YONEX Thailand Open – the first tournament of the Asian Leg of HSBC BWF World Tour.

The four players included two from India, one from Germany, and one from Egypt.

Upon retesting the same specimens, one player from India, and both players from Germany and Egypt were found to be negative.

These three players will be tested again today.

One Indian player remains positive and is in isolation for a minimum of 10 days at the hospital. That person will be tested again today also. The match involving this player was declared a walkover.

Today’s match featuring the roommate of this player has also been declared a walkover. That player is in self-quarantine and also subject to another test today.

BWF and Badminton Association of Thailand will continue to follow all protocols outlined by the local health authorities to ensure the safety of all other participants.

The entire Indian team has been categorised high risk by Thai health authorities and all players and team entourage are currently self-quarantining in their rooms at the hotel and will be subject to a PCR test today.

Each individual is subject to daily testing until further notice from the Department of Disease Control, but players can continue to play upon producing a negative result.

India players scheduled to play today will be allowed to come to the venue. No coaches, managers or other personnel from Team India are allowed.

More information to follow.

Confirmed Walkover Matches

(MAS) Selvaduray Kisona vs Saina Nehwal (IND)

(IND) Kashyap Parupalli vs Jason Anthony Ho-Shue (CAN)

Thomas Lund: ‘Happy to See Positive Sentiment’
Practice commenced on 6 January after all 216 players tested negative for COVID-19.

Thomas Lund: ‘Happy to See Positive Sentiment’

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund, in an address to fans and media, answered a series of questions on a range of topics in relation to the staging of the three-tournament Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour in Bangkok, which kicks off next week with the YONEX Thailand Open.

There have been many positives and challenges expressed by teams and players in terms of the set-up of the Asian Leg in Bangkok. Can you share some of the feedback you have heard?

Thomas Lund: There has been a lot of positive feedback from the players who have arrived in Bangkok that we are starting to play badminton again. There has been a lot of preparation from many stakeholders to make this happen and I’m happy to see positive sentiment. It’s a different environment we find ourselves in and we have done everything we can to accommodate the players and their needs, while keeping safety requirements high. It will be a positive experience as we head into the Asian Leg.

On Wednesday (6 January 2021), it was confirmed that all 824 participants in the quarantine bubble, including 216 players, had tested negative upon arrival into Bangkok. Is that a strong indication that the extensive planning and protocols have worked?

TL: It is a huge positive for us. Everyone was instructed before departure to be diligent and go through all necessary testing procedures. We have a badminton bubble that is COVID-19 clear and it’s important everybody continues to comply with protocols for us to be able to stage three world-class badminton tournaments.

Please detail the fantastic work of Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT), the Royal Thai Government and the Department of Disease Control for making the Asian Leg possible and ensuring all three tournaments are staged safely.

TL: The preparations have been unique and like nothing we have ever done before. I would like to thank the Badminton Association of Thailand, the Royal Thai Government and the Department of Disease Control for all their hard work in making this happen. We worked through many dilemmas and scenarios for the past few months. I would also like to extend my thanks to stakeholders and all partners involved.

Extra sanitisation measures have been put in place for the three tournaments in Bangkok, Thailand.

Are the growing number of cases in Bangkok a concern?

TL: Things seem to change on a weekly basis and it’s always a concern when things develop in a negative way. We have full trust in the Thai Government that they have full control of the situation. Safety protocols are in place and there are no big concerns for the players. We need to monitor the situation, but are confident of a great tournament.

What happens if a player is found to be positive for COVID-19 during the Asian Leg?

TL: If a positive case is found, the player will be isolated and contract tracing will take place. Any player who has been in contact will also need to isolate. As in other sports, this is something we are all getting used to. We are confident we will be able to take care of the player and keep the rest of the players safe during these special times.

China and Japan withdrew from the Asian Leg; what’s your expectation for the level of competition we will see throughout the month?

TL: We will have a great tournament though it was unfortunate that China and Japan had to withdraw, as well as the world’s top men’s doubles pair from Indonesia. We would love to have all the players; we will miss those who withdrew. But we have a great and immensely high level of players in Bangkok.

Social distancing measures are in place in the hotel where the players are staying.

Do you see the Asian Leg setting the standard or being a blueprint for other tournament hosts to follow throughout the year?

TL: There are a lot of learnings we can use from these tournaments. Each country, however, is different. There will be different minimum standards and different health authorities that will have different requirements to follow. We will take away from this all the possible learnings for our next tournament cluster so the set-up can cope with the impact of COVID-19.

The completion of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals brings the 2020 season to a close, what can badminton fans expect in 2021?

TL: We recently released a tournament calendar for the first half of 2021. We are planning to keep tournaments together in a different way. There are clusters planned in Indonesia and we hope to make it more accessible for players to be able to travel more easily to such tournaments. We have learnt a lot in the last six months on staging competitions. We hope to see COVID-19 disappear as vaccines come in.

All Asian Leg Participants Test Negative
Michelle Li

All Asian Leg Participants Test Negative

The Asian Leg in Bangkok, due to start next week with the YONEX Thailand Open, received a boost with all 824 participants in the Green Zone quarantine bubble testing negative for COVID-19.

The Green Zone consists of players and their entourage and all stakeholders who come into direct contact with them, such as umpires, line judges, personnel from BWF, Badminton Association of Thailand, medical staff, and TV production crew.

All international Green Zone participants were required to submit a negative in their own country before departure to Bangkok and were then tested again in Bangkok upon entry into hotel quarantine.

Local players, staff and personnel based in Thailand were also tested and quarantined as part of the Green Zone bubble. Players are now cleared for training under strict safety protocols. The quarantine measures will be in place throughout the mandatory 14-day observation period including during the staging of the YONEX Thailand Open.

More routine COVID-19 tests will follow with strict safety protocols to remain in place until the end of the Asian Leg, which concludes with the completion of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals on 31 January 2021.

Yonex Named as Official Equipment Supplier of HSBC BWF World Tour Finals
President of YONEX, Kusaki Hayashida (left) with Kento Momota (centre) and Arisa Higashino at YONEX sponsorship announcement in Tokyo.

Yonex Named as Official Equipment Supplier of HSBC BWF World Tour Finals

Badminton World Federation (BWF) can announce YONEX as the official equipment supplier for the season-ending HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in Bangkok, Thailand from 27-31 January 2021.

The agreement will see YONEX supply badminton equipment for players, technical officials and the Field of Play.

BWF Secretary General, Thomas Lund, said: “YONEX has been an innovator in the development of badminton equipment and continues to blaze the trail in revolution and technology.

“We are thrilled to have YONEX on board for badminton’s much anticipated return, in particular the staging of our signature event of the season, the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals.”

President of YONEX, Kusaki Hayashida, added: “YONEX looks forward to working with BWF, all athletes and officials so that the wonderfulness and enjoyment of badminton can be experienced again by badminton fans around the world.”

YONEX is also the long-standing official equipment partner of BWF Major Championships.

HSBC BWF World Tour in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s HSBC BWF World Tour badminton extravaganza commences on 12 January 2021 with the YONEX Thailand Open, followed by the TOYOTA Thailand Open on 19 January 2021 – both Super 1000 tournaments – and culminates with the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals from 27-31 January 2021.

The list of athletes qualified for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals will be confirmed at the conclusion of the TOYOTA Thailand Open.

The top eight players and pairs for each category in the HSBC BWF Road to Bangkok Rankings will be invited to compete, where only a maximum of 2 players or pairs per Member Association are eligible to participate in the World Tour Finals.

It is mandatory to enter both the YONEX Thailand Open and TOYOTA Thailand Open in order to be eligible to qualify for the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals.

The qualifying tournaments are as follows:

  • ECOGREEN Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2019
  • PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2020
  • DAIHATSU Indonesia Masters 2020
  • Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020
  • Barcelona Spain Masters 2020
  • YONEX All England Open 2020
  • DANISA Denmark Open 2020
  • YONEX Thailand Open 2021
  • TOYOTA Thailand Open 2021


Another Feather in Joshi’s 2020 Cap

Another Feather in Joshi’s 2020 Cap

The year keeps getting better on the personal front for Para shuttler Manasi Joshi.

While 2020 has been a setback for many athletes, Joshi has had one after another individual accolade head her way.

The latest feather in the Standing Lower (SL3) world champion’s cap is recognition by British public service broadcaster BBC, which has included Joshi in its 100 Women of 2020 list.

The annual list, which honours the most inspiring and influential women from around the world, this year fetes those who are leading change and making a difference during these pandemic-hit 12 months.

BBC in its write-up, rightly highlights that Joshi “aspires to drive a shift in how disability and Para-sports are perceived” in her native India.

“Don’t let the tough times get the better of you, keep exploring every possibility. Give yourself some time off every day,” was Joshi’s message to women published on BBC’s website.

Prior to this, the 31-year-old became the first Para athlete to be named a Next Generation Leader by the TIME magazine and also had a Barbie Doll modelled after her.

Joshi, who lost her left leg in a traffic accident, is now working towards qualifying to Tokyo 2020 next year, when badminton will make its Paralympic Games bow.



今天,世界羽联与泰国羽毛球协会举行了签约仪式,标志着汇丰世界羽联世界巡回赛超级 1000巡回赛和汇丰世界羽联世界巡回赛总决赛将按照原计划于2021年1月在泰国曼谷举行。

此次活动由世界羽联副主席兼泰国羽毛球协会主席Leeswadtrakul主持,世界羽联主席保罗·埃里克·霍耶和世界羽联秘书长托马斯·伦德出席线上会议。泰国副总理兼卫生部长Anutin Charnvirakul和旅游体育部长Phipat Ratchakitprakarn也出席了此次活动。


尤尼克斯泰国公开赛(超级1000):2021年1月12日 – 17日






旅游体育部长Phipat Ratchakitprakarn在他的讲话中说:“这三场羽毛球比赛被认为是恢复国家旅游经济的一个伟大机会。这也展示了泰国主办世界级体育赛事的潜力。巡回赛的举办符合旅游和体育部的愿景,以发展和整合旅游和体育。此外,这三站巡回赛也可以成为泰国新常态下其他体育比赛的标准。”







TUC 2020 Postponed; Denmark Open to Proceed

TUC 2020 Postponed; Denmark Open to Proceed

The Badminton World Federation (BWF), in full consultation and agreement with local host Badminton Denmark, has made the tough decision to postpone the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The decision comes following the withdrawal of a number of participating teams from the TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals and the European leg of the adjusted HSBC BWF World Tour.

BWF, in collaboration with Badminton Denmark, has for many months been preparing for a safe return to international badminton. This includes going to extreme lengths to preserve the health and safety of all participants such as implementing a bubble system to create a safe badminton ecosystem.

However, in view of the recent COVID-19 related developments around the world, a number of teams and individual players have elected not to travel to Denmark for tournaments in Aarhus and Odense; a choice the BWF has to respect and acknowledge.

These are exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in and while a return to international badminton remains a priority for the BWF, the health and safety of the entire badminton community is of utmost importance.

Therefore, after lengthy discussions with key stakeholders, commercial partners and participating Member Associations, it has been realised that we are not in a position to deliver the level of competition reasonably expected by fans and all stakeholders, and as a result have decided that we will not stage this year’s TOTAL BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals on the dates 3-11 October 2020.

BWF is looking into possible alternative dates to reschedule the World Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, but on dates not before into 2021.

Meanwhile, the DANISA Denmark Open 2020 in Odense, a HSBC BWF World Tour Event, will proceed as originally planned in the BWF Tournament Calendar (13-18 October). The event will also be used as an opportunity to implement relevant COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Operating Procedures for the planned restart of international badminton tournaments.

The second tournament scheduled for Odense – the VICTOR Denmark Masters 2020 – slated for 20-25 October has been cancelled as it is no longer feasible to conduct this additional event.

A study into the continued feasibility of the planned Asian leg of the adjusted HSBC BWF World Tour (three HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments hosted in an Asian location) is being conducted and BWF will make further announcements as soon as details are clarified.

Herbert Scheele’s Thomas Cup Story

Herbert Scheele’s Thomas Cup Story

Herbert Scheele was the Honorary Secretary of the International Badminton Federation (now Badminton World Federation) from 1938-1976. In the May 1979 edition of the World Badminton magazine, he revealed how the Thomas Cup came to being. Here’s his story.

As the contest for the Thomas Cup is now exactly 30 years old, its origin may be rather vague to the majority of followers of the game, notably as the conception of the great triennial competition occurred nearly 40 years ago.

It was at a committee meeting on 11 March, 1939, held during the All-England Championships at the Royal Horticultural Hall, London, that the President of the International Badminton Federation, Sir George Thomas stated under “any other business” that he thought the time was then ripe for instituting some sort of international team competition, and that if this was agreed he would be happy to present a suitable trophy.

Then, as now, the All-England Championships was regarded as the principal annual tournament throughout the world, and Sir George’s idea was no doubt stimulated by a Dane and a Malayan each having then reached the semifinal round of the tournament which until only a year beforehand had been almost restricted to English players.

That year an Irish pair won the men’s doubles, and the ladies’ singles went to a Canadian. Players of neither country have, as it happens, yet repeated those successes, but Danes have captured the men’s singles and ladies’ doubles as they did for the first time in that last pre-war meeting.

The committee of the IBF upheld Sir George’s view and recommended to that year’s Annual General Meeting on 5 July that his offer be accepted.

It also appointed a small sub-committee to investigate suitable regulations to apply to the competition, and I was one of the three individuals who met one evening to draft the necessary conditions, which were later approved by the main committee and promptly circulated to the small number of only 15 national organisations then belonging to the Federation for their views.

The Annual Meeting accepted Sir George’s offer and he at once ordered the manufacture of the beautiful trophy which was formally presented to the small gathering which formed the annual meeting of 1940 during the first year of the war.

But then, because of the war and its immediate aftermath, the huge silver-gilt cup spent the next 80 years in some bank vaults.

BWF World Championships 2021 Rescheduled

BWF World Championships 2021 Rescheduled

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Spanish Badminton Federation (FESBA) can confirm the BWF World Championships traditionally scheduled for August 2021 will now take place at the end of 2021 from Monday 29 November to Sunday 5 December.

The move will allow the BWF World Championships in Huelva, Spain to shine brightly in what will be a condensed sports calendar.

BWF and FESBA had already opened discussions with tournament hosts to stage the championships later in the year to ensure ultimate success of the event for players, their entourage and fans.

The decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to 23 July to 8 August and 24 August until 5 September 2021 only confirmed this move.

The new schedule will allow players to have a clear focus for 2021 in which they will have dual objectives of both the Olympic Games and World Championships.

The BWF World Championships 2021 will be played in Carolina Marin’s home town of Huelva.

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said changing the BWF World Championships to late November was in the best interests of the sport.

“BWF and Spanish Badminton Federation are confident that the rescheduled championships will be a success. The move allows both the Olympic badminton competition and the World Championships to be conducted with equal fairness for everyone,” Høyer said.

FESBA President David Cabello added: ”We hope the World Championships in Huelva will be a special occasion for badminton in Spain and the world.

”We are satisfied that moving the championships to the end of the year will allow us to deliver the best tournament possible.”

The remainder of the 2021 BWF Tournament Calendar is yet to be finalised.

The World Championships will take place in the Carolina Marin Stadium, the arena named after the three-time world champion in her native city of Huelva.

A further announcement will be made on the qualifying process for next year’s Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and World Championships.

Stars Who Shone; Those Who Didn’t
Shi Yuqi performed impressively for China.

Stars Who Shone; Those Who Didn’t

The recently-concluded TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 was a roller-coaster ride for reputations. Several stars, expected to take their teams to glory, fizzled out during the week. There were also a few others who rose to the occasion when the situation demanded it. Here we look at the prominent names:

Those Who Sizzled

Shi Yuqi

Continued to build on his reputation as a big-match player. The manner in which he handed a pasting to Kento Momota in the final was stunning to watch – a near-replica of the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in December. Won his three matches with ease – over Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia in Group 1D and Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the semi-finals.

Li Junhui (left) and Liu Yuchen – stable under pressure.

Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen

Were unshakeable despite being in trouble in their opening match against Malaysia’s Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik. Recovered from match point down to beat the Malaysians, and then destroyed their three following challengers – Denmark’s Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen; Thailand’s Tinn Isriyanet/Kittinupong Kedren, and Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe. The Japanese were expected to stretch Li/Liu in the final, but after first game trouble, the world champions crushed their rivals to hand the advantage in the final to China.

An Se Young played outstanding badminton to beat Tai Tzu Ying.

An Se Young

The 17-year-old came into the Sudirman Cup as a potential star, having won the New Zealand Open, and returned with reputation enhanced. With her sensational upset of No.1 Tai Tzu Ying, which helped Korea top Group 1C, and close loss to Ratchanok Intanon, An did enough to suggest she could be the face of the future of women’s singles badminton.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon (right) and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo didn’t disappoint for Indonesia.

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo

The ‘Minions’ went into the Sudirman Cup in unconvincing form, but admirably led Indonesia into the semifinals. Won their three matches in straight games, including the semifinal over Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, on which Indonesia were unable to capitalise.

Michelle Li powered Canada’s finish on top of Group 2.

Michelle Li

Despite struggling with injury, Canada’s singles spearhead guided her team to the top of Group 2. Prevailed in a contentious Group 2B match against Germany’s Yvonne Li that set Canada on to victory over difficult opponents, and in the Group 2 final against France, easily beat Yaelle Hoyaux to come away with three wins out of three.

Nhat Nguyen was a standout for Ireland.

Nhat Nguyen

The 18-year-old had a busy week for Ireland, playing two categories and winning all but one of his eight matches. Nguyen nearly led his team to Group 3 victory, but, having won his singles, surprisingly lost his men’s doubles (with Sam Magee) to Sachin Dias and Buwaneka Goonethilleka. Ireland had to be content with second place in Group 3 (overall 22nd), but Nguyen would have returned pleased with his contribution.

…and Those Who Fizzled

Tai Tzu Ying

Nothing went Tai Tzu Ying’s way against An Se Young.

The world No.1 hasn’t had the best of seasons, but was expected to lead Chinese Taipei to a possible semifinal, their first in history. However, Tai was woefully off-colour, struggling against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi and losing to An Se Young, before making it past an equally disappointing Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. Despite her win, Chinese Taipei fell 2-3 to Indonesia.

Anthony Ginting was unable to turn on his ‘A’ game.

Anthony Ginting

Indonesia sported big names in singles, which was expected to buttress their doubles strength and give them a shot at the title. But it all went wrong in the singles, with Anthony Ginting losing two of his three matches, and neither Jonatan Christie or Gregoria Mariska Tunjung able to step up. Ginting was unable to inspire himself to his normal level in losses to Viktor Axelsen (Denmark beat Indonesia 3-2) and against Kento Momota in the semifinals.

Saina Nehwal (right) couldn’t offer any resistance to Chen Yufei.

Saina Nehwal

India were reckoned to have a strong team capable of going far in the tournament, but the Indians turned out to be underwhelming. Kidambi Srikanth didn’t take the court citing fitness concerns, and Sameer Verma took his place. Saina Nehwal, not fully fit, played one match – against China’s Chen Yufei – and she was routed in 33 minutes, which more or less summed up India’s campaign.

Endo/Watanabe: Cruise Mode as Tokyo Looms Ahead
Few pairs can match the abilities of the Japanese in defence.

Endo/Watanabe: Cruise Mode as Tokyo Looms Ahead

Returning to the scene of their biggest title win – the YONEX All England – and winning it after a year of not playing any international event, Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe showed that no rust had crept in to dull the fine edge of their weapons. With just over three months to go for Tokyo 2020, the Japanese men’s doubles pair will be frontline contenders for gold.

Their path to the title in Birmingham this March was smooth, winning their first four matches in straight games. And even though Endo/Watanabe dropped a game in the final against compatriots Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda, they decimated their opponents in the final game, achieving the first title defence by a non-Indonesian men’s doubles pair since 1988.

“We won the final last year, but we haven’t been able to play since then so we didn’t feel like we had a better chance than our opponents,” said Endo, who revealed that the title was a birthday gift for his son. “So we went into the match as challengers and took it point by point. We didn’t feel we had an advantage.” 

What make this pair so hard to beat? No less a pair than Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo have run aground six times in eight matches against the Japanese – all losses coming in the last six matches. The most peculiar of these was a 21-3 hiding that the Indonesians got in the final of the Badminton Asia Championships 2019.

The Japanese pair’s assets are their extraordinary defence that can frustrate the most tenacious of opponents; the rotational flexibility of Endo and Watanabe, who can switch roles and positions on court; Watanabe’s unique angles as a wristy left-hander, and Endo’s unflappable presence.

After their semifinal loss in the semifinals of the All England, Denmark’s Jeppe Bay and Lasse MØlhede commented on how difficult it was to break through the Japanese defence.

“We knew in this game there would be a lot of long rallies, they have a very strong defence so every time we came forward they just pushed us back again,” said MØlhede.

Endo’s second All England title in two years was testament to how far the 34-year-old has come with his younger partner, for previously he couldn’t break the title jinx in three finals with his then-partner Kenichi Hayakawa.

Endo and Watanabe will next be seen in action at the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open (11 to 16 May 2021), and it will be interesting to see how well the others hold up against the wonderful skills of the Japanese.

Humans of Shuttle Time: Nargis Nabieva
Nargis Nabieva, Shuttle Time National Coordinator of Tajikistan.

Humans of Shuttle Time: Nargis Nabieva

This is the 14th story in our Humans of Shuttle Time series, in which we present the perspectives of those who work on badminton development at the grassroots level. Nargis Nabieva, Shuttle Time National Coordinator of Tajikistan, recounts her experiences in badminton.

Childhood Days

I’ve been in sports from my early childhood.

I got acquainted with badminton for the first time in March 2010, when the idea of creating a national badminton federation in Tajikistan came about, and for the first time I saw badminton at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.

Memorable Experience

I was amazed by the dynamism, beauty and entertainment value of the game.

I liked it so much that after returning from Singapore, as a member of the Badminton Federation of Tajikistan, I began to work on the development of the sport in the country. We started to create badminton groups in sports schools and badminton clubs in secondary schools.

Most of all I remember the happiness of children when we presented them with sportswear and badminton equipment – their joy knew no bounds. I admire the dedication of the coaches who can teach children all day long this wonderful game.

What Badminton Means

Badminton now for me is an opportunity to help children become goal-oriented and confident in their future. That would be my contribution to the development of my country.

This game is not only harmonious and beautiful, but also safe, and helps develop coordination, speed and decision-making.

Strategy for Growth

When the Federation was created in 2010, we adopted a development strategy where priority was given to distant districts, and then to the capital and regional centres. According to our analysis, most sports federations focussed their activities in the capital and regional centres, while distant regions were deprived of this attention. Our approach paid off and during the first five years badminton became one of the most popular sports in the country.

Impact of Shuttle Time

The Badminton Asia delegation first arrived in Tajikistan in 2015. That year, for the first time, training was organised under the Shuttle Time programme. The training was so effective and enjoyable that over 100 coaches and PE teachers took part. Since then, more than 40 sessions have been organised within the framework of Shuttle Time.

Shuttle Time gives everyone the opportunity to learn badminton in a short time and helps to create a good coaching base for teaching children.

Other Stories in This Series

Humans of Shuttle Time: Hannes Andersson

Humans of Shuttle Time: Merlie Tolentino

Humans of Shuttle Time: Nikhil Chandra Dhar

Humans of Shuttle Time: Geoffrey Shigoli 

Humans of Shuttle Time: Erik Betancourt Luna

Humans of Shuttle Time: Richard Ssali Kaggwa

Humans of Shuttle Time: Azizbek Madjitov

Humans of Shuttle Time: Elie Jean

Humans of Shuttle Time: Danielle Whiteside

Humans of Shuttle Time: Oscar Alejandro Vera Suarez

Humans of Shuttle Time: Sandra Low

Humans of Shuttle Time: Dorji

Humans of Shuttle Time: Genevieve Cutter









Nguyen wears a look of disbelief after stunning Kidambi.








COVID Turns Nguyen Match-Savvy

COVID Turns Nguyen Match-Savvy

Nhat Nguyen has found out the hard way what COVID-19 can do to an athlete after contracting the coronavirus along with his whole family in January.

The 20-year-old Irishman of Vietnamese origin has shown some impressive performances this year but insists he is yet to approach full fitness as a result of his illness.

“I’m still struggling a little bit. I haven’t been myself since I returned to training after I had Covid-19,” he told Irish media recently.

“I’m getting tired quickly and my energy levels aren’t there. I’ve had countless blood tests and appointments with doctors and I have a couple more to check my blood.

“They are not at normal levels, but I don’t know what’s wrong. It’s something that makes me feel a lot more tired. But I’m getting better slowly so that’s a good sign.”

Not being in peak condition means Nguyen has had to adjust the way he plays.

Nguyen wears a look of disbelief after stunning Kidambi.

“I relied a lot on speed and endurance to dictate play. But now I have to be more energy efficient and smarter. I can’t be going out too fast. I actually play longer rallies but I was only going at 50 or 60 per cent,” added Nguyen, who at 15 became the youngest Irish Open winner.

“Being able to change the way I play is one of the good things about my style. If I was in better shape (at the YONEX All England Open 2021), I could have done even better.”

In Birmingham last month, Nguyen stunned 13th seed Kidambi Srikanth in the opening round before losing to Dutchman Mark Caljouw in the following match.

Nguyen remains on course for a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – he currently sits comfortably 25th on the Race to Tokyo standings.

The Dubliner, who migrated to his adopted nation as a six-year-old with parents Lai and Thuy and older sister Thammy, will feature at the European Championships at the end of this month (27 April-May 2) in Kiev.

“I want to get myself back into (physical) shape again. I definitely feel my game is there but I need to be better physically,” said the former Under-17 European champion.

“I’ll be looking for better results at the Europeans.”

Ellatif, a Woman on a Mission

Ellatif, a Woman on a Mission

Not only did Shaimaa Samy Ab D Ellatif leave the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum 3rd Dubai Para Badminton International 2021 with a bronze medal, she also returned home to Egypt with a burning desire.

Ellatif, her nation’s sole representative in the UAE two weeks ago, did well to medal – in the Wheelchair (WH1-WH2) category alongside India’s Girishkumar Jayanthilal Sharma – at the competition where she made her international debut in 2018.

And she now wants to chase more international glory for one reason more than anything – to inspire women in her country to pick up Para badminton.

“I want to compete in more championships, take experience and watch more champions in my classification,” she told Gulf Today.

Ellatif dreams of doing well at Paris 2024.

“This will help me share my story and experience and inspire more female players back home. And one day we can dream of a gold medal at major events.”

The 40-year-old started playing Para badminton only three years ago but is now in the top 20 of the WH1 women’s singles world ranking. A commendable achievement considering she has no wheelchair partner at her club Alzahoor in Cairo, where she trains with able-bodied players.

“Para badminton is a new sport in Egypt, in fact in Africa,” she said.

“In Egypt we have 10 clubs and around 70-80 disabled players in different classifications. There are many Para badminton players but no wheelchair shuttlers at my club. So, I don’t have a fixed doubles partner and have to look for a new one every time.”

Returning to competition after a COVID-19-enforced break of more than a year gave Ellatif a major boost, especially with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on the horizon.

“Like everyone, I’m excited to play in the first competition after the pandemic (struck),” she said.

“It’s a good experience and preparation en route to Tokyo. My main aim is to qualify for Tokyo, so I’ll try my best in the last qualifying event (Spanish Para Badminton International 2021 in May) as well.

“Paralympics will be a dream-come-true moment,” added Ellatif, whose ultimate goal is to win a medal at Paris 2024.

Ellatif was earlier this month unveiled as one of the global ambassadors of the ‘i am badminton’ integrity campaign for Arab Badminton Federation.

Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue.










England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.



Seo Seung Jae and Chae YuJung.



Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.



Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje


100 Days to Tokyo 2020: Mixed Doubles Dark Horses
Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue.

100 Days to Tokyo 2020: Mixed Doubles Dark Horses

With just a few more events to go for the end of qualifying to the Tokyo Olympics, there is near-certainty on the big stars – those who will be vying for gold and glory.

Pairs like Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong, Wang Yi Lyu/ Huang Dong Ping, Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino and Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti can all be considered frontline contenders who will be expected to feature at the business end of the Olympics.

However, just away from the spotlight, there is a clutch of names capable of upsetting the applecart of the stars. Given the high-pressure nature of the event, and the fact that it will be held with many of the participants having spent months away from competition, there will be higher unpredictability in Tokyo that at any recent Olympics.

Here, then, are the dark horses, those who can disrupt the campaign of the top contenders:

*Note: The qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics ends on 13 June 2021; the list of qualifiers will be notified in due course.

Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue

What marks them out is their rapid progress in abilities and supreme self-belief. The young French duo – both are aged 22 — have beaten nearly every other top pair; having won the YONEX Swiss Open 2021 and reached several semifinals in recent months – including two semifinals at the Asian Leg – Gicquel and Delrue are capable of making history for France.

Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith

England’s Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.

For a while, Ellis and Smith were in the shadow of their illustrious compatriots Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock, but over the past few seasons have emerged as an accomplished pair in their own right. While their game is not spectacular, it is quietly efficient. Their stubbornness when the chips are down is a feature of their game, and that has seen them win the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020, besides semifinals of the All England (2020 and 2021), the YONEX Swiss Open 2021 and the DANISA Denmark Open 2020.

Seo Seung Jae/Chae YuJung

Seo Seung Jae and Chae YuJung.

Seo/Chae on their day can be a particularly tricky proposition, for they are the only left-handed duo apart from Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet in the top echelons of mixed doubles. Seo has progressed by leaps and bounds in recent months, with his attacking game having gained muscle; his ability to conjure steep and unpredictable angles also gives this pair an edge, while Chae’s calmness at the front allows Seo to be more adventurous.

Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying

Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.

Chan and Goh surprised many by making the final of the Rio Olympics, and to their credit, have stayed in the top 10 despite the challenges of being a professional pair and Goh’s injuries. Expected to qualify ahead of, or alongside, compatriots Goh Soon Huat/Lai Shevon Jemie (another Malaysian pair Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing are not far behind), Chan and Goh are a study in cleverness and using skill to outplay better-endowed opponents. They are certainly not the most youthful of pairs, but don’t rule out a surprise or two from the wily Malaysians.

Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra BØje

Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje

There are a few European pairs contending for places at Tokyo (apart from Ellis/Smith and Gicquel/Delrue, there are the Adcocks, Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek and Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich); Christiansen and Boje have yet to land a major title; yet, at their best they can be a handful for the top pairs. Recent performances, such as the SaarLorLux Open 2020 win, or the runner-up spot at the Swiss Open 2021, indicate that they are becoming more solid. Christiansen’s experience and power, and Boje’s youthful energy, does make this a pair to watch.







卡尔乔不太引人注意的原因是他还没有在高级别赛事上创造过令人轰动的成绩,但目前的他已经拥有了可以和优秀球员抗衡的能力。近期他受瞩目的胜利来自于一月亚洲赛季的丰田泰国公开赛,在第一轮比赛中他以21-13 23-25 22-20焦灼的比分战胜了李卓耀。在三月的瑞士公开赛上,他再次苦战三局击败了普兰诺伊。








Mark Caljouw: Making Rapid Strides

Mark Caljouw: Making Rapid Strides

At the YONEX All England last month, a 26-year-old Dutchman strode in for his first HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 semifinal.

Many fans might still be unfamiliar with Mark Caljouw, but the Dutch player has made steady progress over the last couple of seasons and the All England provided the opportunity for the breakthrough. Caljouw took his chances, beating Khosit Phetpradab, Nhat Nguyen and Lakshya Sen before going down to eventual titlist Lee Zii Jia.

“This was a huge experience, for sure,” said Caljouw. “I didn’t expect that I would come into the semifinals, so I was enjoying the match and playing at the All England on Saturday is just amazing. I can see that if I want to win against those guys, I have to improve in a lot of aspects.

“I’ve played them before, but every time I play them, you can see that if you don’t play the right way, they punish you right away. That’s something I have to learn. But for sure, this is a confidence boost.”

Caljouw’s performances have been slightly under the radar, for he has yet to create a sensational result at the big tournaments, but on his day, he can hold his ground against top-class opponents. One of his memorable recent performances was at the TOYOTA Thailand Open in January, when he took Lee Cheuk Yiu the distance in a scorching first round, falling 21-13 23-25 22-20. At the Swiss Open in March, he took down HS Prannoy in three close games.

The aspect of his game that most bothers him is his inconsistency – his inability to repeat top-quality performances match after match. Over the last two seasons, he had some highs – like finishing runner-up at the Saarbrucken Open 2020 – but also several early exits.

“I feel that I have really good results, just that it’s too much up and down. Some results are really good, sometimes it’s extremely bad. My bottom level has to be higher. But I think I showed my top level is going way better than before. So that’s really nice,” says Caljouw, who’s currently ranked No.4 in the HSBC BWF World Tour Rankings.

“That match (against Lee Cheuk Yiu) – it was a great match, and I also built on that, that I can also play well against Asian players. So that’s the most important thing, to play well all through the year, and not go too much up and down.”

The uptick in his form he credits to his work with coach Jonas Lyduch. Caljouw has been training with Lyduch over the last two years in Denmark, aiming to reach peak form for the Tokyo Olympics.

“That’s helping a lot – it’s just a nice environment,” says Caljouw.

“We decided, two years back, that we are going to train in Denmark till the Olympics. But then the Olympics got postponed, and we said we’ll keep going in Denmark until the Olympics. So that’s the plan for now, and after that I probably will go back to the national team. Our (Dutch) federation has organised it quite well. I’ve been in Denmark around two years now, but there are some weeks when we go back to the national centre to see our physios, our doctors, do some tests. It’s not that far away, it’s only a one-hour flight.”

Caljouw has entered the YONEX-SUNRISE India Open 2021 (11 to 16 May). Given his recent form, he could well cause some problems for the more fancied names.

An Se Young celebrates after beating Carolina Marin at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 in Bangkok.