PETALING JAYA: Top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are virtually assured of their place in the season-ending World Tour Finals in Guangzhou from Dec 11-15 – but can the other Malaysians make the cut too?
Peng Soon-Liu Ying are still holding on to their No. 1 position in the Race to Guangzhou rankings for the lucrative US$1.5mil (RM6.3mil) season finale.
Only the top eight after the end of qualifying in November will be invited.
There are only six events for players to collect valuable ranking points; they are Denmark Open (Oct 15-20), French Open (Oct 22-27), Macau Open (Oct 29-Nov 3), China Masters (Nov 5-10), Hong Kong Open (Nov 12-17) and Korean Masters (Nov 19-24).
While the independent shuttlers Peng Soon-Liu Ying are set to feature in their fourth Finals after their outings in 2012 Shenzhen, 2013 Kuala Lumpur and 2018 Guangzhou, all eyes will be mainly on the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) hopefuls whether they could ensure a big representation for Malaysia in Guangzhou.
Those in the running are seventh-ranked Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles); seventh-ranked Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, ninth-ranked Aaron Chia Soh Wooi Yik and 11th-ranked Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); and 10th-ranked Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and 12th-ranked Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles).
All-England runners-up Aaron-Wooi Yik will be able to secure their Finals debut if they can close the season strongly.
After having a small number of qualifiers over the last few season, the onus is on BAM to push their players to make the cut.
Indonesia currently have three pairs in the top eight — Hendra Setiawan-Mohammad Ahsan, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto but a nation can only be represented by a maximum of two players or two pairs in each event.
A whopping US$120,000 (RM503,000) and US$126,000 (RM529,000) are up for grabs for the singles and doubles winners.
In fact, all the qualifiers are also guaranteed of taking home US$9,000 (RM38,000) in the singles and US$10,500 (RM44,000) in the doubles – even if they were to lose all their three group stage matches.
But more than the money, Shevon said she wants to qualify to collect invaluable ranking points ahead of the Olympic Games next year.
“Every pair want to make it to Guangzhou because they are assured of good amount of ranking points by just making the cut, ” said Shevon.
“Every single ranking point counts during the all-important Olympic qualifying period. Only the top eight pairs at the World Tour Finals will have the privilege of raking in some points and we don’t want to miss the opportunity.
“We’re not too far from the top eight and we will do whatever it takes to qualify. That will be our big goal over the next two months.”
Since 2007, Malaysia have produced several champions in the Finals – with Lee Chong Wei being crowned the men’s singles winners four times in 2008,2009,2010 and 2013, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men’s doubles in 2008) and V Shem-Wee Kiong (2016), Wong Mew Choo (women’s singles in 2009) and Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (women’s doubles in 2008 and 2009).
ROAD TO GUANGZHOU RANKINGS
Men’s singles: 1. Kento Momota (Jpn) 79,540,2. Chou Tien-chen (Tpe) 71,020,3. Jonatan Christie (Ina) 68,300,4. Anthony Ginting (Ina) 62,890,5. Wang Tzu-wei (Tpe) 60,910,6. Viktor Axelsen (Den) 58,310,7. Lee Zii Jia (Mas) 57,700,8. Lin Dan (Chn) 56,020. Selected: 23. Liew Daren 41,140.
Men’s doubles: 1. Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) 83,920,2. Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) 82,950,3. Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Ina) 78,950,4. Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin (Tpe) 77,660,5. Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Ina) 74,420,6. Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) 69,080,7. Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 68,290,8. Hiroyuki Endo-Yuta Watanabe (Jpn) 65,030. Selected: 9. Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 60,600,11. Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi 52,240,20. Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani 41,800.
Women’s singles: 1. Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) 79,840,2. Chen Yufei (Chn) 78,860,3. Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 70,110,4. Tai Tzu-ying (Tpe) 66,510,5. Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) 66,000,6. He Bingjiao (Chn) 60,430,7. Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) 60,020,8. Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 56,220.
Women’s doubles: 1. Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) 82,740,2. Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) 81,520,3. Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara (Jpn) 80,280,4. Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) 78,670,5. Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu (Ina) 74,080,6. Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) 71,450,7. Du Yue-Li Yinhui (Chn) 63,080,8. Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai (Tha) 62,340. Selected: 17. Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean 42,780,20. Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen 38,640.
Mixed doubles: 1. Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (Mas) 78,490,2. Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) 77,770,3. Zheng Siwei-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) 76,470,4. Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn) 74,970,5. Hafiz Faizal-Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (Ina) 69,660,6. Praveen Jordan-Melati Daeva Oktavianti (Ina) 68,660,7. Yuta Watanabe-Arisa Higashino (Jpn) 67,940,8. Seo Seung-jae-Chae Yu-jung (Kor) 60,580. Selected: 10. Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie 53,230,12. Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing 49,710.
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