Badminton Olympic Paris 2024: A Crucial Breakthrough Moment

Trang Napie

Sat Feb 17 2024

Paris 2024
Race to Paris
Dominant Players

The road to the Badminton Olympic Paris 2024 has been a fierce competition for athletes worldwide. As the qualification stage progresses, the pressure and demands increase, putting the players' resilience to the test. With the race reaching its climax in April 2024, the final spots for players from Asia, Europe, and Pan Am will be determined in their respective continental championships. This article explores the current standings, the dominant players, and the intense battles among teammates.

For the top players in the World Tour, January and March present numerous opportunities to improve their rankings. January features the Super 1000 (Malaysia Open), Super 750 (India Open), Super 500 (Indonesia Masters), and Super 300 (Thailand Masters). February sees fewer World Tour events, with the focus shifting to continental team championships and individual championships in Africa and Oceania. The attention then turns to Europe with the German Open 2024 at the end of the month.

The French Open 2024 (Super 750), serving as a test event for Paris 2024, is followed by the Orleans Masters 2024 (Super 300), All England Open 2024 (Super 1000), Swiss Open 2024 (Super 300), and Madrid Spain Masters 2024 (Super 300) in March. The final stretch to Paris reaches its peak in April, where the remaining spots for Asia, Europe, and Pan Am may be decided at their respective continental championships.

The dominant players in recent years, such as Viktor Axelsen in men's singles, An Se Young in women's singles, Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan in women's doubles, and Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong in mixed doubles, continue to lead the race to Paris. The men's doubles category remains highly competitive, and the late surge of Liang Wei Keng/Wang Chang in late 2023 places them ahead of their main rivals by over 5,000 points.

Apart from the world number ones, there is fierce competition among high-ranking teammates. Each National Olympic Committee can only send a maximum of two players/pairs if both are in the top 16 in singles or top 8 in doubles in the Race to Paris. For instance, Chou Tien Chen, currently ranked number ten, has his compatriot Lin Chun-Yi just four spots below him. After his success at the Thailand Masters 2024, Chou Tien Chen had a prolonged dip in form, while Lin Chun-Yi has been steadily improving, starting the new year with an impressive semi-final appearance at the Malaysia Open.

Other tight races among compatriots include Lee Zii Jia (ranked 10) and Ng Tze Yong (ranked 15) from Malaysia, Toma Junior Popov (ranked 24) and Christo Popov (ranked 26) from France, and Lakshya Sen (ranked 19) challenging Kidambi Srikanth (ranked 25) for the second spot after HS Prannoy. In women's singles, the battle for the second position between China's He Bing Jiao (ranked 6) and Han Yue (ranked 8) intensifies, as well as the fierce competition between Supanida Katethong (ranked 16) and Pornpawee Chochuwong (ranked 17) from Thailand.

The women's doubles category will witness exciting races as well. Young stars Liu Sheng Shu/Tan Ning (ranked 3) have the upper hand against Zhang Shu Xian/Zheng Yu (ranked 6), while Japan's Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (ranked 7) have recently overcome Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota, who have been out of action since early December due to injury.

In the lower rankings, it will be interesting to see if Canada's Catherine Choi/Josephine Wu (ranked 33) can outperform the United States' Annie Xu/Kerry Xu (ranked 29) to secure the Pan Am spot. At least one pair from each of the five Continental Confederations is guaranteed a spot in each doubles event. Josephine Wu is also heading in the right direction in the mixed doubles, partnering with Ty Alexander Lindeman. Ranked 32, they are closely behind the United States' Vinson Chiu/Jennie Gai (ranked 30).

At the top of the rankings, the second-ranked South Korean pair Kim Won Ho/Jeong Na Eun will be aware that their position is precarious. Dropping out of the top eight would be dangerous for their qualification. Meanwhile, Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari (ranked 15) and Dejan Ferdinansyah/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (ranked 21) from Indonesia are not far behind in points, setting up a close battle between them.

As the qualification stage for the Badminton Olympic Paris 2024 enters its final months, the competition intensifies, setting the stage for a thrilling showdown. The race to secure spots becomes even more challenging, with dominant players maintaining their lead while battling against teammates for a chance to represent their countries. It will be fascinating to see who ultimately makes it to the prestigious event in Paris.