KUALA LUMPUR: Poor planning by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has put Malaysia in a fix on the hosting of this year’s BWF World Super Series Finals from Dec 11-15.
The finale of the Super Series Tour clashes with the biennial SEA Games in Myanmar. The badminton competition in Naypyidaw is from Dec 9-14.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager Kenny Goh said Friday that Indonesia had made an official request to them to postpone the World Super Series Finals.
“Indonesia has written a letter to us. As host, we do not have the liberty to do that. It is the BWF’s decision. Our players and those from Thailand will also be involved in both tournaments. This needs to be discussed further,” said Kenny.
BWF may want to move the World Super Series Finals to Dec 17-22 since the India Open Grand Prix Gold, scheduled on those exact dates, has been cancelled.
It will, however, be too close to the new season as the South Korean Open is from Jan 7-12. This will be followed by Malaysian Open from Jan 14-19 and many top shuttlers may not like the idea of playing in too many back-to-back tournaments.
If BWF stick with their decision, it will put several top players from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in a sticky situation.
They are obliged to play for their country in the SEA Games and, at the same time, want to play in the World Super Series Finals as it offers a handsome prize money – worth a total of US$500,000 (about RM1.64mil).
For the Finals, only the top eight players in every event after the 12-leg Super Series will get to compete.
After six legs of the Super Series Tour, Indonesia have the biggest number of qualifiers – 10 players.
Malaysia, however, will not be greatly affected as world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has not been entered for the SEA Games. As such, he can feature in his fifth Finals in a bid to underline his status as the most consistent player in the Super Series Tour.
It’s not so straight-forward for mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, however. The world No. 6 pair have been named for the SEA Games but are also set to feature in the Finals.
Super Series rankings (after six legs)
Men’s singles: 1. Lee Chong Wei, 2. Tommy Sugiarto (Ina), 3. Boonsak Ponsana (Tha), 4. Kenichi Tago (Jpn), 5. Takuma Euda (Jpn), 6. Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina), 7. Wong Wing Ki (Hkg), 8. Marc Zwiebler (Ger).
Men’s doubles: 1. Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun (Kor), 2. Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina), 3. Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn), 4. Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan (Chn), 5. Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, 6. Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor), 7. Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Jpn), 8. Maneepong Jongjit-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha).
Women’s singles: 1. Saina Nehwal (Ind), 2. Juliane Schenk (Ger), 3. Bae Yeon-ju (Kor), 4. Sung Ji-hyun (Kor), 5. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe), 6. Minatsu Mitani (Jpn), 7. Li Xuerui (Chn), 8. Wang Shixian (Chn).
Women’s doubles: 1. Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn), 2. Ma Jin-Tang Jinhua (Chn), 3. Wang Xiaoli-Yu Yang (Chn), 4. Jung Kyung-eun-Kim Ha-na (Kor), 5. Christinna Pedersen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den), 6. A. Duanganong-V Kunchala (Tha), 7. Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta (Ina), 8. Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan (Kor).
Mixed doubles: 1. Tantowi Ahmad-Lilyana Natsir (Ina), 2. Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei (Chn), 3. Robert Mateusiak-Nadiezda Zieba (Pol), 4. Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christina Pedersen (Den), 5. Chris Adcock-Gabrielle White (Eng), 6. Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas), 7. Mohd Rijal-Debby Susanto (Ina), 8. Xu Chen-Ma Jin (Chn).