So, ever since I’ve gotten into badminton, there have been constant tournaments which the best of the best have played. Every day on my facebook and youtube there are highlights and awesome match videos to watch. I knew they were playing for ranking and qualifying points, but I didn’t really get what it was all about.
So I looked into it. Turns out it is a 12 tournament superseries with the 32 top players competing. They started in March in England and since then have been to India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Denmark, France, China and Hong Kong. Each tournament had it’s own prize money (from about $275,000 to $800,000) but the real reason to play is to get qualifying points.
That’s because those who qualify get one more tournament: The Dubai World Superseries Finals. Only the top of the top will be able to compete with the prize being a cool million dollars. (I should be clear though, it’s not the winner of each game gets all the money. Instead, the total purse for each tournament is split between all the winners–men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. For instance the men and women’s singles winner gets 7.9% of the pot, so actually they don’t get a ton of money.)
But the Dubai game is considered the creme de la creme of the badminton tournaments. Even better than the Olympics in some ways because it is a culmination of months of games and competitions, not just the winner in one day or game.
Players get points for winning different games and this whole series also goes towards world ranking. Like, right now the number one ranked man is China’s Chen Long. He has 100,283 points. The number two guy, Denmark’s Jan O Jorgenson only has 75,967. You can see a list of the top players and their points and ranking at the Badminton World Federation website. (The BWF is also the organization behind the world superseries.) And you gotta be consistent to get high points. Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei has been killing it at tournaments recently winning the past few in men’s singles. But he screwed up in the beginning and didn’t get enough points to play in the finals. Tough luck buddy.
What sucks the most is that the second to last before the finals, the China Open, was held in Fuzhou, which is mere hours from my home. The best of the best played within spitting distance and I didn’t know until after it started. Gar!!
But the lineup for Dubai has been announced and it’s a quick guide to who is the best right now in Badminton, which is pretty handy for a noob like me to learn names and teams. It also looks like the superseries is a qualifying event for the Olympics, but not the only one. So if they didn’t do so good in this series they still have a chance to qualify for the Olympics.
In fact, qualifying for the Olympics seems easier than the Dubai Finals Tournament! The Olympics will accept 28 singles players and 16 teams, while the Dubai game is only the top 8 in each category. It starts Decemeber 9-13th, so make sure to mark your calendars. or not. I don’t care.