Thais earn six spots in World Tour Finals
published : 30 Nov 2022 at 07:22
newspaper section: Sports
A total of 10 local players have earned six spots in the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals on home soil, the Badminton World Federation announced on Tuesday.
The US$1.5 million event will be staged at Bangkok's Nimibutr Stadium from Dec 7-11.
Bangkok, which last hosted the tournament in January 2021, replaces China's Guangzhou as the Finals venue due to Covid-19.
The Thai players who qualified for the 2022 Finals are Ratchanok Intanon and Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the women's singles, Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard and Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai in the women's doubles, and Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Supak Jomkoh/Supissara Paewsampran in the mixed doubles.
Supak and Supissara are late replacements for Japanese duo Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino.
The Finals features the top-eight players and pairs on the BWF World Tour rankings, with a maximum of two players or pairs per member association eligible. The current world champions gain automatic entry.
There have been three withdrawals with Pusarla V Sindhu (women's singles), Nami Matsuyama/Chiharu Shida (women's doubles), and Watanabe/Higashino (mixed doubles) out with injury.
In the men's singles, Denmark's Viktor Axelsen will look to sign off on another great season while Chou Tien-chen, Prannoy HS, Jonatan Christie, Kodai Naraoka, Lu Guangzu, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Loh Kean Yew will attempt to upset his monopoly.
In the women's singles, China's Chen Yufei leads the qualifiers followed by Tai Tzu-ying, He Bingjiao and An Se-Young.
In the mixed doubles, local interest will focus on Dechapol and Sapsiree, who are aiming for a third straight end-of-season crown against top players like world champions Si Wei/Ya Qiong and Olympic champions Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping.
Jeong Na-Eun/Kim Hye-Jeong of South Korea topped the women's doubles qualifiers. Thai sisters Benyapa and Nuntakarn has had a great year and will be avidly followed by home fans.
Indonesia booked the top two places in the men's doubles through Alfian/Ardianto and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan.
Two Malaysian pairs, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi and world champions Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, will also feature in Bangkok.