From 19-25 August 2019 the world’s best badminton players from around 50 nations meet in the St. Jakobshalle Basel at the Badminton World Championships 2019.

The Chinese shuttlers will be tested
The 2019 Badminton World Championships will serve as a proving ground for China’s shuttlers ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, after the draw was made at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) headquarters. The electronic draw lined up a total of 383 shuttlers who will contest this year’s championships. Among the top players scheduled to face-off in the first round of the men’s singles include China’s Lin Dan, who has been paired against Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam. The women’s singles will see 16 seeded entries receiving an automatic bye to the second round, including world No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, as well as China’s top women’s singles shuttlers Chen Yufei, Han Yue, He Bingjiao and Cai Yanyan. BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said the Chinese team had a strong line-up of players, adding that he expected the country’s shuttlers to bag multiple medals over the course of the tournament. “I think the Chinese team, as usual, will be doing great. They have a fantastic team, all the time being pressured by the other countries,” Lund told Xinhua. “I think it’s fascinating to see a discipline like the women’s singles, where China has dominated. They still have fantastic players and I think China has a good chance to take medals, and maybe even win it,” he added.

Big profiles are missing
Missing from this year’s championships are three top singles contenders for the world title: 2017 champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and world No.2 Shi Yuqi of China in the men’s singles, as well as defending women’s singles champion Carolina Marin of Spain, all of whom pulled out of the championships due to injury. Shi suffered an ankle injury at the Indonesia Open last month and has not been able to recover in time for Basel. He was runner-up to Kento Momota at the most recent World Championships in Nanjing, China. Marin has withdrawn after failing to recover completely from the knee injury she suffered during the Indonesia Masters final in January earlier this year. Marin underwent knee surgery on 29 January and had accepted the initial invitation to play in Basel. The Olympic champion felt that she could recover in time to defend her title, but the Spaniard posted a video message on Sunday explaining the reasons for a late withdrawal. “Me and my team has decided that we aren’t going to play the World Championship because we are very short of time. The recovery is going well and the knee is running well. So we will wait till the tournaments of September,” she said in the message.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Meanwhile, HS Prannoy received a late call following the withdrawals from former world champion Viktor Axelsen and China’s Shi Yuqi. The other three Indian men’s singles players who have already qualified for the World Championship are Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma, and B Sai Praneeth. Denmark’s Axelsen withdrew from the World Championships citing a back injury.

Men’s singles
Kento Momota is top-seeded in this category and will meet Pham from Vietnam in the first round. Momota is known for his explosive movements on court and his unpredictable style of play. He has won the 2019 All England Open, 2019 Asian Championships, 2018 World Championship, 2018 Asian Championships and 2012 World Junior Championships. It will be exciting to see if Momota can keep on being the ultimate champion. Second-seeded is Chou Tien-Chen from Taiwan who is currently ranked worlds no. 3. He will in the first round meet the Danish Vittinghus who is currently ranked worlds no. 25. Chou Tien-Chen clinched the men’s singles title at the Thailand Open badminton tournament Sunday, in a thrilling final against Hong Kong opponent Angus Ng Ka Long and it will be exciting to see if he can take home yet another trophy.

Third-seeded in the men’s singles is Chen-Long from China who will meet the Russian Malkov. Chen is the reigning Olympic champion and two-time World champion and All England champion and will with no doubt bring a lot of tension to the match.

Women’s singles
Top-seeded in the women’s singles is Akane Yamaguchi from Japan. Yamaguchi occupied the number-one position in the BWF women’s singles ranking on 19 April 2018, becoming the first Japanese player to achieve that distinction. She is already through to the second round. Second-seeded is Tai Tzu-ying from Taiwan. In 2012, she won her first Super Series title in the Japan Open and made history as the youngest player to win the Super Series title (currently the third-youngest player, after Ratchanok Intanon won the India Open in 2013, and Akane Yamaguchi won the Japan Open 2013). She always put on a great show and we look forward to seeing her play. Third-seeded in this category is Okuhara from Japan. She is well known for her speed, agility and endurance. She won a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics and will also in this tournament fight for a spot at the podium.

Men’s doubles
Currently ranked worlds no. 1 and top-seeded in this tournament are, of course, Gideon and Sukamuljo from Indonesia. They won the 2017 All England Open Superseries Premier and are often referred to as “The Minion” because of their height below average badminton players. In addition, they were awarded the BWF Best Male Players of the Year for two years in a row after collected seven Superseries titles in 2017 and nine World Tour titles in 2018. They too are through to round 2. Second-seeded is Li and Liu from China who also are through to round 2.  The Chinese duo, who had won the World Championships and the BWF World Tour Finals last year lastly lost to unseeded Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty from India in Thailand Open 2019, which proves that everything can happen Lastly and third-seeded we have Kamura and Sonoda also from Japan.

Women’s doubles top-seeding are all Japanese
Top-seeded and currently ranked worlds no. 1. are Matsumoto and Nagahara from Japan. They were awarded as the 2018 Most Improved Player of the Year by the BWF. They obtained the honor after won the 2018 BWF World Championships title and improving their ranking from 14 to 3 in the world. On 30 April 2019, they reached a career-high as the women’s doubles world No. 1. Second-seeded is Japanese Fukushima and Hirota. Earlier this year they defended their Indonesia Open women’s doubles title by defeating Japanese compatriots and reigning Olympic champions Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. They make a great pair and have a good dynamic on the court which we look forward to yet again experience. Third-seeded is Japanese Matsutomo and Takahashi. Together they claimed Japan’s first-ever Olympic badminton gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women’s doubles event and will with no doubt be after a medal in this tournament.

Mixed doubles
Top-seeded in this category are worlds no. 1 Huang and Zheng from China. They are the reigning world champion and Asian games gold medalist as of 2018 and will deliver badminton at top-level without a doubt. Can they keep their title from last year or will there be surprises? Second-seeded is Yilü and Dongping from China. Their latest victory was in Thailand Open 2019 where they won the Mixed Doubles over Japan’s no. 3-ranked team of Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino. Third-seeded is Jiting and Yue from China. They are through to round 2 and we look forward to seeing the pair in action!

Get a full overview of the draws here

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