BADMINTON Preview: China looking to regain Sudirman Cup in Nanning

Named in honor of Dick Sudirman, the founder of the Indonesian Badminton Association, the mixed-team championship of badminton will be played for the 16th time beginning on Sunday in Nanning (CHN).

While Indonesia would like to win to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the inaugural tournament – which it won – back in 1989, China is once again the favorite. Although Korea won its fourth title two years ago in Gold Coast (AUS), China has won the tournament 10 times and has won each and every time – four so far – the tournament has been held in China.

Japan finished second in 2015 and third in 2017 and is given the best chance to upset the hosts. The Group 1 contestants:

Group A: Japan, Thailand, Russia
Group B: Indonesia, Denmark, England
Group C: Chinese Taipei, Korea, Hong Kong
Group D: China, India, Malaysia

Each match is in a dual meet format with a men’s Singles, women’s Singles, men’s Doubles, women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles competition. The two favorites have sensational teams, each with complete line-ups of players (and substitutes) ranked in the top 10:

● Men/Singles: Long Chen (5) and Yuqi Shi (2)
● Men/Doubles: Junjui Li/Yuchen Liu (3)
● Women/Singles: Yufei Chen (3) and Bingjiao He (6)
● Women/Doubles: Qingchen Chen/Yifan Jia (3)
● Mixed Doubles: Siwei Zheng/Yaqiong Huang (1)

● Men/Singles: Kento Momota (1) and Kenta Nishimoto (10)
● Men/Doubles: Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (2)
● Women/Singles: Nozomi Okuhara (2) and Akane Yamaguchi (4)
● Women/Doubles: Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (1)
● Mixed Doubles: Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (3)

Group play will take place from 19-22 May. The quarterfinals will be on 23-24 May, the semis on 25 May and the final on 26 May. Look for results here.