Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

BWF World Tour: A Celebration of Badminton Excellence

The BWF World Tour, the oldest and most prestigious badminton competition, kicks off today in Birmingham. As fans eagerly anticipate the thrilling matches, let’s delve into some intriguing facts about this renowned tournament.

General Facts

  • The inaugural edition of the BWF World Tour took place in 1899, initially featuring only doubles events. Singles events were introduced the following year.
  • Sir George Thomas holds the record for the most successful athlete in the tournament’s history, with an impressive 21 championships across various categories.
  • Frank Devlin became the earliest non-English winner in 1922, securing the men’s doubles title with England’s Guy Sautter. Devlin remains second on the all-time list behind Thomas.
  • Indonesian men’s singles icon Rudy Hartono holds the record for consecutive titles, winning seven consecutive championships from 1968 to 1974.
  • American Judy Devlin boasts the most singles crowns in the tournament’s history, with an impressive record of ten victories.

The Open Era (1980 Onward)

  • This edition marks a significant milestone as it is the first since 2017 to have defending champions in all five categories.
  • Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms, a mixed pair, were the last home shuttlers to clinch victory in 2005.
  • Doubles legend Gao Ling stands as the most decorated player in the tournament’s history, with an impressive 11 wins.
  • Li Yongbo and Tian Bingyi hold the record for the most men’s doubles victories, securing the title three times (1987, 1988, 1991).
  • Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan, having triumphed in 2014 and 2019, have the opportunity to match their previous achievements.
  • Despite Indonesia’s rich badminton history, they have not celebrated a men’s singles champion in 29 years. In 1994, Hariyanto Arbi was the last Indonesian player to achieve this feat. This year, seeds Jonatan Christie (2) and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (3) lead their charge for a victory.
  • China has experienced a drought in the men’s doubles category since Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan’s victory in 2013. They have a seeded pair – Liu Yu Chen and Ou Xuan Yi (5) – as well as up-and-coming recent India Open winners Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang to rely on.
  • Malaysia, on the other hand, has not tasted success in the doubles discipline since Kien Keat Koo and Tan Boon Heong’s win in 2007. Their best chance of ending this drought lies in the men’s doubles category, where they have seeded pairs Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik (2) and Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi (8).
  • Malaysia has also never celebrated a women’s doubles title, but the fifth-seeded pair of Tan Pearly and Thinaah Muralitharan’s two HSBC BWF World Tour crowns came in Europe, with victories in the Swiss Open 2021 and French Open 2022.
  • Viktor Axelsen is poised to become the first back-to-back men’s singles champion since Lee Chong Wei in 2011. This is the longest-standing category without a title defense. Axelsen has played in the last four title matches, emerging victorious in 2020 and 2022.
  • Tai Tzu Ying, the third seed in women’s singles, aims to secure her fourth victory in the competition. The most recent player to achieve this feat was Malaysian icon Lee in 2017.
  • Bang Soo Hyun (1996) is the last Korean to win the women’s singles category. In second seed An Se Young, Korea possesses a player in form who could potentially secure victory.
  • Japan stands as the sole nation to have triumphed in at least one event at every edition of the tournament since 2018.
  • Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida have the opportunity to become the first Japanese women’s pair in half a century to retain their prize. Machiko Aizawa and Etsuko Takenaka were the last players to achieve this feat in 1973.
  • Yuta Watanabe, with two men’s doubles and three mixed doubles gold medals to his name, aims to reach the top of the podium for the sixth time. The last shuttler to achieve this was the great Lin Dan in 2016.
  • A mixed doubles title defense for Watanabe and Arisa Higashino would see them match the three consecutive victories of Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir from 2012 to 2014, the latest players in any discipline to achieve this feat.
  • Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto, their compatriots, are the only top seeds without prior triumphs.
  • Former doubles winners Misaki Matsutomo (with Yuki Kaneko, mixed doubles) and Lee So Hee (with Baek Ha Na, women’s doubles) could potentially succeed with new partners. Matsutomo won women’s doubles with Ayaka Takahashi in 2016, while Lee achieved the same feat with Chang Ye Na the following season.
  • Several countries, including Thailand, Singapore, France, and Germany, are still waiting for their first-ever All England titlist(s). Despite this, they have seeded entries in various categories.
  • India has yet to experience jubilation in categories other than men’s singles. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (6), a men’s pair, are their only seeded entries in the tournament.
  • The Indian badminton community anticipates the end of their 22-year wait for success since Pullela Gopichand became the second Indian, after Prakash Padukone, to lift the famous trophy in 2001.
  • Since Gopichand’s victory, only players from Malaysia, China, Japan, and Denmark have emerged as champions in the tournament.
  • Women’s doubles has a longer history, dating back to 1981 when English pair Nora Perry and Jane Webster claimed victory. Since then, champions from countries outside Korea, China, Denmark, and Japan have been crowned.
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Standout Stat: Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, two badminton greats, contested 14 of the 15 finals between 2004 and 2018.

BWF World Tour
Lin Dan won the last All England final between these two legends in 2012.

FAQs

Q: When did the first edition of the BWF World Tour take place?
A: The BWF World Tour had its inaugural edition in 1899, initially featuring only doubles events. Singles events were introduced the following year.

Q: Who holds the record for the most championships in the tournament?
A: Sir George Thomas is the most successful athlete in the tournament’s history, with an impressive record of 21 championships across various categories.

Q: Who was the earliest non-English winner in the tournament?
A: Frank Devlin became the earliest non-English winner in 1922 when he secured the men’s doubles title with England’s Guy Sautter.

Q: Who holds the record for consecutive titles in the tournament?
A: Indonesian men’s singles icon Rudy Hartono holds the record for consecutive titles, winning seven consecutive championships from 1968 to 1974.

Q: Who has the most singles crowns in the tournament’s history?
A: American Judy Devlin has the most singles crowns in the tournament’s history, with an impressive record of ten victories.

Summary

In the heart of Birmingham, the BWF World Tour, badminton’s oldest and most prestigious competition, is set to captivate fans around the world. With a rich history dating back to 1899, this tournament has witnessed remarkable achievements and records. From legendary athletes such as Sir George Thomas to iconic rivalries like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, the tournament has left an indelible mark on the sport.

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As the latest edition unfolds, players from various nations will showcase their skills and compete for glory. From defending champions to emerging talents, the stage is set for an exhilarating display of badminton excellence.

Join us as we follow the gripping matches, celebrate victories, and witness the birth of new legends in the world of badminton. Don’t miss a moment of the BWF World Tour, and stay tuned for more updates on Carnegiecentre.com.