Beijing: About 6,500 athletes from around the world are set to participate at the relaunched Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.a
Based on the latest Race To Tokyo – BWF Olympic Qualification rankings published March 9, 2021, badminton powerhouse China is poised to fill the maximum spot allowed for each country in each of the five disciplines.
Last week, Badminton Asia announced that it’ll postpone this year’s Asian Championships until after the Tokyo Olympics. For Asian players, the Olympic ranking points will only be available for grabs at the remaining three tournaments, including India Open (5/11/2021 to 5/16/2021), Malaysia Open (5/25/2021 to 5/30/2021), and the Singapore Open (6/1/2021 to 6/6/2021).
According to Badminton World Federation (BWF), nations can enter a maximum of two players each in the men’s and women’s singles, if both are ranked in the world’s top 16; they can enter a maximum of two pairs in doubles events if both are ranked in the top eight.
Japan’s Kento Momota led the latest Race to Tokyo men’s singles rankings, followed by Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, Viktor Axelsen, and Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting. Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long was ranked No. 6 while Shi Yuqi was at No. 11. Based on the rankings, it’s very likely both Chen and Shi would qualify for the Tokyo Games.
China also guaranteed to fill two spots in the women’s singles event as Chen Yufei, He Bingjiao, and Wang Zhi Yi were ranked No. 1, No. 9, and No. 14 respectively.
China’s biggest problem was in the men’s doubles. Though Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen were able to secure an Olympic spot, the 12th ranked Han Cheng Kai/Zhou Hao Dong still has a lot of work to do as they needed additional 9393 points to push Choi SolGyu/Seo Seung Jae of Korea down from the No. 8 position.
In women’s doubles, the Japanese pair Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota ranked first with a total of 95,108 points, while Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan of China ranked second with 88,710 points. Another Chinese women’s pair, Du Yue/Li Yinhui, ranked sixth. Unless something drastic happened, such as Du/Li are playing very badly at the rest of the Olympic qualifiers, or some of the top 15 pairs are doing surprising well to push Du Yue/Li Yinhui out of the top 8 rankings, otherwise, Due/Li have a high chance to making the Tokyo Games.
In mixed doubles, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong, Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping have firmly occupied the top two positions in the Race to Tokyo rankings. The third-ranked Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand were more than 10,000 points behind Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping.
Last week, the President of the Chinese Badminton Association, Zhang Jun, disclosed in an interview with the Chinese media that they would not participate at the India Open, but would likely compete at Malaysia and Singapore Open before the Tokyo Olympics.