Badminton’s Super Series Masters Finals will be played in Johor Baru after Malaysian organizers switched the Dec. 2-6 event from Kuala Terengganu.
The southern city was picked after organizers took into account its experience in hosting major badminton events.
“Due to the short time, we felt that Johor Baru will be in a better position to host the event,” Kenny Goh, the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s general manager, told The Star newspaper.
“They have an experienced team. It is also close to Singapore and Indonesia and it will attract the big names from these countries.”
The $500,000 Masters Finals will feature the top eight players in every event based on the Super Series rankings after 12 legs. Ten legs have been completed, with the ongoing Hong Kong Open and the China Open being the last two stops.
But a country can only send two shuttlers who are in the top eight of each division. Each division will be split into two groups, and the two top finishers qualify for the semifinals.
After the French Super Series, Indonesia has three shuttlers in the men’s singles top eight — third-ranked Simon Santoso, No. 6 Sony Dwi Kuncoro and No. 7 Taufik Hidayat.
Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan are third in men’s doubles, while Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan sit in eighth place.
There are also two Indonesian mixed doubles teams with good chances to qualify. They are No. 3 Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir, along with No. 6 Devin Lahardi Fitriawan and Lita Nurlita.
Sixth-ranked Shendy Puspa Irawati and Meiliana Jauhari and No. 7 Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda look good in women’s doubles, and seventh-place Adriyanti Firdasari is the only Indonesian in the women’s singles top eight.
No Indonesians won titles at the inaugural championship last year.