Qualifying rules for Tour Finals may need an overhaul

PETALING JAYA: The World Tour Finals offer the biggest prize but are all the best players actually playing in the season finale?

This is something for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to ponder as their qualifying rules for the Finals may not really reflect the participation of current top players in every event.

The top eight based on 26 world tour tournaments get to feature in the Finals.

Players who take part in more tournaments have higher percentage of qualifying – even if they don’t win regularly.

For instance, Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas of Indonesia have played in 16 tournaments without any titles but they made the cut as the sixth qualifiers.

Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien made the cut for the Finals as the sixth ranked pair in the women’s doubles but the world No. 24 had played in 18 tournaments and their best result was a semi-final finish at the Swiss Open.

It was by stroke of luck that they made the cut, also thanks to a few withdrawals.

There are calls for the world body to review their qualifying rules to limit the number of qualifying tournaments.

This year, the Finals which offer a whopping US$1.5mil (RM6.5mil) will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday.

Overall though, one can still can expect quality showing as the majority of the top 10 players have made the cut.

In the men’s singles, expect a thrilling affair as the rest of the world tries to beat top seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. The only two singles players missing in the fray are Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia and Lakshya Sen of India.

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