Top 10 players to watch out for in Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024
(Courtesy : BAI)
PV Sindhu marks her return in circuit through this tournament
Who will be the best badminton team in Asia in 2024? The answer will be revealed at the fourth edition of the Badminton Asia Team Championships, which will take place from February 13 to 19 in Shah Alam, Malaysia.
The biennial tournament will feature the top contenders from leading nations in Asia, competing in both men’s and women’s team events. The event will also serve as a qualifying event for the 2024 Thomas and Uber Cup, the prestigious world team championships.
The Badminton Asia Team Championships have seen only four countries win the gold medal in either the men’s or the women’s team event since its inception in 2016. They are:
- Malaysia (men’s team, 2016)
- China (women’s team, 2016 and 2018; men’s team, 2020)
- Japan (women’s team, 2020; men’s team, 2022 and 2024)
- Indonesia (men’s team, 2018 and 2024; women’s team, 2022)
India, meanwhile, has not won any medals in the women’s team event and has only won two bronze medals in the men’s team event (2018 and 2020). India is tied with Thailand for sixth place in the overall medal tally for the Badminton Asia Team Championships.
The Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 will be live-streamed on the official YouTube channel of the Badminton Asia Confederation.
The Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 will showcase some of the best and brightest talents in the sport, who will be vying for glory and Olympic qualification. Here are the top 10 players to watch out for in the event:
Liu Sheng Shu/ Tan Ning
The world No. 4 teen pair of Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning are in a race to Paris Olympics against Zhang Shuxian and Zheng Yu for the second women’s doubles spot. Given that the other pair are not part of the squad, the young pair have a chance to overtake them in the Race to Paris rankings and secure their maiden Olympics berth.
Double Olympic medalist PV Sindhu is set to return to the big stage after four months of recovering from a knee injury that she suffered at the French Open 2023. She will restart her journey towards Paris and face Han Yue of China in the first match. She has never lost to Han Yue before.
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The 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara fell out of the top 40 BWF rankings last year. She has gallantly fought back to climb up to world No. 20. In the last three months of Race to Paris tournaments, the gap between her and Aya Ohori, the other Japanese contender, is narrowing. She will look forward to making the final cut for the Paris Olympics 2024.
Alwi Farhan is the 2023 world junior champion who is already making a mark on the circuit. In the absence of Indonesian stalwarts like Anthony Sinisuka Ginting and Jonatan Christie, he will try to prove his mettle and set up a stage for himself.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen, with a streak of early losses, fell out of the Race to Paris India’s second qualifying spot. He will look forward to staying nearly undefeated in the event to narrow down the points he requires to be in the top 16 of the rankings. India’s No. 1 HS Prannoy, on the other hand, can be said to have already qualified.
Lee Wang/ Wang Chi-Lin
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics champions Lee Wang and Wang Chi-Lin are currently facing tough challenges to cope up with their form. They will try to get back in form as big tournaments like the French Open, the All England, the Thomas Cup, and the Paris Olympics are nearing.
The 2018 and 2019 world champion Kento Momota, who fell out of form after the life-threatening injury he faced in 2020, is now marking a comeback. He won the Korea Masters in 2023 after a string of early exits in the same year. It will be interesting to see if he can keep a claim on the second spot for the Japanese men’s singles spot for the Race to Paris Olympics.
The 2022 and 2023 U-15 Asian Championships silver medalist Tanvi Sharma has made it to the Indian team. At the age of 14, she defeated world No. 40 Aakarshi Kashyap en route to national glory. She will seed herself as a new prodigy in the field of world badminton through the team championship.
The China No. 3 is facing a tough competition to make it to her maiden Olympics against her much experienced compatriot He Bing Jiao. She will look forward to gathering good points from the tournament to leapfrog the 2020 Tokyo fourth-placed Chinese.
Benyapa Aimsaard/ Nuntakarn Aimsaard
The Aimsaard sisters, Benyapa and Nuntakarn, suffered a setback in the early 2024 season when Nuntakarn sustained an injury and they had to skip the first three tournaments of the season. To secure a second spot for Thailand in the women’s doubles, they need to fight for the top eight spots in the rankings. They made a strong comeback by defending their Thailand Masters title on home soil. They hope to earn more points and play well in the upcoming tournaments.
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