Friday, June 9, 2017
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Former Olympic champion Li Xuerui potentially has a shot at making it to the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 as she is second on the latest Women’s Singles reserves list.
The former No.1 from China – a two-time World Championships runner-up – has been out of action since sustaining a serious injury at the Rio Olympics last August. Ranked No.24 on the qualifying date, Li is fourth among the Chinese, behind Sun Yu, He Bingjiao and Chen Yufei. The invitation to Li has been accepted by Chinese Badminton Association but she will make it to Glasgow only if there are two withdrawals of qualified entries before the draw on 9 July 2017.
A member association can field a maximum of four players/pairs in each category.
Japan’s Sayaka Sato, as first reserve, will hope to join her three compatriots Akane Yamaguchi, Nozomo Okuhara and Aya Ohori.
Like Sato, her compatriots Sayaka Hirota and Yuki Fukushima are in sight of making it to Glasgow as they are the first reserves in the Women’s Doubles qualifying list.
Hirota and Fukushima, winners of the Celcom Axiata Malaysia Open, would be able to join their three compatriots – Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi; Naoko Fukuman/Kurumi Yonao and Shiho Tanaka/Koharu Yonemoto – if there is a withdrawal of any qualified pair before the draw.
China’s Bao Yixin/Yu Xiaohan’s hopes also would be alive, as they are second among the reserves. Three of their compatriots have already qualified – Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan; Luo Ying/Luo Yu and Li Yinhui/Huang Dongping.
In Men’s Singles, the highest-placed eligible reserve is India’s Sameer Verma, runner-up at the Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open last year. Three Indians have qualified in Men’s Singles – Ajay Jayaram, Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth.
The next eligible invited player on the reserves list is Hong Kong’s Wei Nan.
In Men’s Doubles, the first reserves are China’s Huang Kaixiang/Wang Yilyu, while the second reserves are Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen/David Daugaard.
The highest-ranked eligible reserves in Mixed Doubles are China’s Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, followed by Chinese Taipei’s Tseng Min Hao/Hu Ling Fang.
The TOTAL BWF World Championships will be held at Emirates Arena in Glasgow from 21 to 27 August 2017.