赵芸蕾是她那个时代最全能的双打运动员。 在很长一段时间内，她在混双和女双两个项目中的统治地位无人能及。退役后， 她成为了史上最优秀的羽毛球运动员之一——细数她职业生涯中所获得的冠军头衔，包括两枚奥运会金牌和五枚世锦赛金牌。
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is excited to reveal there will be an additional four stops on the BWF World Tour from 2023 to 2026 as part of expansion plans announced today.
The 31-event new World Tour calendar, which includes the year end BWF World Tour Finals, will see more Super 1000, Super 750, and Super 500 tournaments, bringing greater prize money opportunities for players.
The announcement caps an exciting bid process which saw healthy interest from all host bidders.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said the BWF World Tour 2023-2026 promises to elevate the status of badminton globally.
“Badminton is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world with all-time high participation and fan numbers. More tournaments give us a fantastic opportunity to enhance the sport’s reach around the world, not only in established territories, but into new ones as well. It also allows for more players to enter our elite circuit and gain valuable experience,” he said.
“We were very encouraged by the large number of high-quality bids we received and that bodes well for a bigger and better tour across the next four years. It enables us to commit to higher prize money, greater coverage on television and online, and spectacular presentation, all contributing to an enhanced world-class sports product that we seek.”
Lund confirmed there would be no change to current player commitment obligations.
The expansion is bankrolled by a significant investment from BWF and commercial partner Infront over four years.
A host for the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals will be announced at a later date. BWF Tour Super 100 hosts will also be announced separately.
Indonesian mixed doubles legend Liliyana Natsir is the latest inductee into the BWF Hall of Fame. The Olympic champion will be officially recognised at a ceremony during the EAST VENTURES Indonesia Open 2022 on Saturday 18 June.
Natsir won four mixed doubles World Championships titles with two different partners and achieved a career high at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games claiming mixed doubles gold.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer lauded Natsir’s achievements.
“It is a rare honour for an athlete to be named to the BWF Hall of Fame, and Liliyana Natsir richly deserves this accolade,” Høyer said.
“She was among the very best mixed doubles players throughout her career. With an Olympic gold and silver, and four World Championships gold medals, Liliyana built a stellar record.
“She was a delight to watch as she somehow made a very difficult art look easy. I congratulate her on making the BWF Hall of Fame, and I’m sure that she will continue to inspire many more generations.”
With her unique, unfussy style and tremendous record over more than a decade, Liliyana Natsir is a standout figure of world badminton. Natsir’s first major title was World Championships gold in 2005 with the technically gifted Nova Widianto. The duo had a string of successes, winning the World Cup and the Asian Championships the next year, another World Championships gold in 2007, before winning silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Natsir was then paired with Tontowi Ahmad and the two quickly established a strong partnership. Despite the change in style of her partner, Natsir adapted well. The new partnership won bronze at the 2011 World Championships before eclipsing that at the World Championships in 2013, taking gold from two match points down in the final, and the World Championships in 2017. Gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, on top of three straight All England crowns, established Natsir in the pantheon of greats.
Liliyana will be recognised at a ceremony at the Istora Senayan on Saturday 18 June.
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We present Episode 1 of our new Fanatics of TotalEnergies series. First up we’re in Bangkok as locals Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Kunlavut Vitidsarn take Greysia Polii and and Toma Junior Popov around town during the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2022.
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Singapore’s Jia Heng Jason Teh is travelling to the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 in a combative mood after pushing two of the world’s best players to their limits at the recent Commonwealth Games.
Teh produced some of the best badminton of his career in Birmingham, winning four matches before taking eventual winner Lakshya Sen of India to a third game in a pulsating semifinal.
“I must have that fire to win,” Teh said as he looked forward to scaling similar heights in Japan.
“I cannot reach their level if I first don’t make sure I push them. If I play in my comfort zone I won’t be able to beat them, because I am not yet at their level, I am only climbing up to them.
“I need to improve my consistency and shot quality, and reduce my unforced errors.”
An understudy to world champion Loh Kean Yew through most of the mixed team event in Birmingham, Teh was left carrying his country’s hopes in the men’s singles following Loh’s quarterfinal elimination by Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong.
But after a punishing ten-day schedule, Teh struggled to complete his bronze medal match against India’s Kidambi Srikanth, needing on-court attention from the doctor twice in the later moments of the straight-games defeat.
“I had no strength, that’s why I fell down,” Teh said. “I had some cramps, nothing big. But I couldn’t support myself anymore.
“I think I did all I could. I gave my all. The only way forward is to work myself and become fitter. Be better at recovery. I will take this experience with me for the rest of my career.”
Born in Penang in Malaysia, the animated 21-year-old carries a reminder of his roots in the form of a large tattoo covering most of his left forearm.
“I have a shuttlecock tattoo because I am spending most of my time on badminton, and it says ‘family’ because I have experienced something bad outside sport which made me realise that family is really, really important to me. I will always prioritise them.”
Teh said he drew inspiration from his early rounds opposition at the Commonwealth Games, which included players from teams such as Barbados and Jamaica.
“There are a lot of countries with a lot of aspiring players, but I guess the level of play is restricted,” he said.
“Regardless of which country they face, they just try to fight and challenge the opponent. Their resilience and fighting spirit is something I think I can learn from.”
In the post-Tine Baun period, Denmark’s women’s singles has become almost synonymous with Mia Blichfeldt and (lately) Line Christophersen, but with a successful Asian tour recently, Line Kjaersfeldt has bounced back into the conversation.
The 28-year-old enjoyed a great spell of form in Indonesia and Denmark, making three straight quarterfinals on the HSBC BWF World Tour for the first time in her career. With wins over Ratchanok Intanon (Indonesia Open) and Carolina Marin (Malaysia Open), Kjaersfeldt showed she can still be a dangerous opponent for the top stars. And with the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 coming up, the Dane could do some damage to the established names in Tokyo.
“She has improved a lot,” said Marin, after her second round loss to the Dane at the Malaysia Open.
Kjaersfeldt put her results down to the hard work she’d put in and the confidence she gained from each win.
“I’m just working hard every day. I know that Carolina’s just coming back from a really serious injury, so I knew that maybe she’s not in her best shape right now. But that’s my chance. And I took it and I’m so happy. I tried so many times and I finally beat her. It’s amazing.
“Two weeks ago I beat Ratchanok and now I beat Carolina. I know that I can beat the top players in the world and I will just try my best to work harder and to get even higher on the rankings. I’m also growing older, growing mentally, and I think that’s also why I’m standing in the quarterfinals.”
What explained her red-hot spell of form midway through the season?
“For a long period I’ve been working really hard. I just try to believe in myself every day. If you get one success and one win, it just gives more confidence. And I think the last four weeks for me here in Asia has been amazing. It’s my third tournament and third quarterfinal and that’s never happened before. I just feel confident and feeling in good shape and I think that’s why my form is good right now.”
Kjaersfeldt has rarely made heads turn at the major championships, but this time could be different.
“I know I can beat the top players and I know I can do this and now I will try to aim higher than the quarterfinals, to go further than this. Because I feel that I can do it. So I will aim for more.
“It’s a really tough women’s singles field. There are a lot of good players around, but I think I’ve shown now that I’m also here and I’m the one they have to watch out for.”
She takes on Kim Ga Eun in her opening round match, with a possible clash against top seed Akane Yamaguchi in the third round.
While young people worldwide are engaged in badminton through the Shuttle Time schools programme, BWF’s educational work with younger players merits attention on International Youth Day.
BWF in collaboration with World Academy of Sport (WaoS) launched a new cycle of scholarships for BWF-WAoS Athlete Certificate Scholarship. A course designed for aspiring young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 who want to learn more about the skills required to become successful and knowledgeable athletes.
The programme offers athletes a unique opportunity for those pursuing dual careers and have decided to continue their studies without giving up their peak athletic careers. Additionally, it gives talent already working in the badminton community the chance to pick up new abilities.
This year, BWF received 114 applications across 35 countries, and five continents from players that are currently competing in BWF sanctioned tournaments or at a national level. 44 females and 70 males will undertake the Athlete Certificate Scholarship alongside their professional playing careers, beginning in September. It is the first time the programme will feature such a variety of students from multicultural backgrounds.
Pravish Hanuman, 17, from Mauritius, is one recipient of the programme.
Speaking to BWF, he said:
“The course looks to be every interesting and helpful to me. I think the course will help my badminton skills on and off the court. The key for me is discipline. You should plan your time well and in a fair way for both studying and badminton. All your focus must be on badminton when you are training and the same applies to studying. I would love a job related to badminton in the future.
“Badminton is a sport with so many challenges, moves, and tricks and it’s really brilliant.”
Since 2020, 222 young athletes (121 boys and 101 girls) from 63 countries have benefitted from the scholarship.
Vera Appenzeller, also 17, from Switzerland, remarked how amazed she felt about her acceptance.
“I’m really happy that I have a place on the programme. I think it’s really important for the youth of today to study and be involved with the sport of badminton and I’m hoping I can inspire others to take up studies too.
The course offered by BWF, I think it will help athletes find their way along their playing career path. It will not only deal with situations that arise in sport, but also how you manage yourself in everyday life that are crucial points for every player and I think you can’t start early enough to build a structure that gives you the support you need. I am really hoping to gain insights into sports management so I can better equip myself for my professional career.
“Badminton means the world to me. What struck me about it, was the fun and energy I found in training. I was fascinated by the power of every movement and how small changes could influence the shuttle. I knew then that I wanted to be as good as the best players in the world since I started playing.”
The theme for International Youth Day 2022 is Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. The annual observance looks to recognise and mainstream the voices, efforts, and actions of young people as well as their substantive, inclusive, and equitable engagement.
From starting out at her village hall in Estonia, to now having Danish great Peter Gade in her corner, it has been an eventful journey for Kristin Kuuba. With encouraging performances in recent months, Kuuba will be looking to make an impact at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022.
Her village, she says, has “2000 or 3000 people”, and while badminton is not the most popular sport, she is happy with the support she gets back home.
“When you’re from such a small village people know you and they really support you all the way so it’s really good to have that,” Kuuba says.
“They are proud of me. Estonia is quite small. Badminton is not the most popular sport like in Asia but I think it’s getting more and more popular.”
The world No.46 shifted base to train at the Peter Gade Academy in Denmark ten months ago. Late last year she won the Dutch Open and made the semifinals of the Scottish Open. This season too has seen encouraging performances as she made the quarterfinals of the Orleans Masters, before beating Michelle Li in Malaysia, where Gade was in her corner.
“I’m training at his academy, it’s really good,” says Kuuba. “He’s a legend, he knows badminton so well. He’s really good with the tactics and everything. I’m still getting used to the fact that I have such good people supporting me.
“He has been at these tournaments for such a long time. So he knows how you’re feeling at these tournaments. If you’re playing two tournaments in a row, you get tired and you’re missing home a little bit. So it’s good to have somebody to talk to about these things.
“The training is totally different (from Estonia) where we don’t have so many players in practice and also the coach hasn’t been a top player. So I think it’s like a miracle that I’m here and I’m playing at this level, because of the conditions that we had there and how we started, and it’s totally different from Asia.”
How difficult was it for her to transition from her life in her village to becoming a professional player in Denmark?
“There are some things of course that are different but overall it’s quite similar because it’s not that far from home. It’s still in Europe and quite close to my country. There are things you need to get used to. But I’m feeling good that this was the right thing to do.”
Kuuba faces France’s Léonice Huet in her opening round match in Tokyo.
The return of the BWF World Junior Championships after a two-year break puts the spotlight back on the next generation of stars.
The view into the future was unavailable in 2020 and 2021 due to the complications arising from the pandemic.
Ever since it began, the World Junior Championships have been a reliable barometer of talent. Sun Jun, the world junior champion in its inaugural year of 1992, went on to win the World Championships seven years later. Doubles winner Gu Jun would go on to become a legend in the seniors.
While not every junior star makes it at the elite level, in recent years, the transition has been much more consistent.
Three-time world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, for instance, needed virtually no time to transition, with the world No.17 already well ensconced at the elite level.
“It was very important for me because this is the biggest tournament for youth, which is a ladder for further self-improvement,” says Vitidsarn, who won the event in 2017, 2018 and 2019, equalling the record of his senior compatriot Ratchanok Intanon.
“It really helps to a certain extent… (although) the world level and the junior level are different in many aspects such as strength and self-control.”
A casual glance at the world’s top players shows they were nearly all accomplished junior stars — Viktor Axelsen, Kento Momota, Akane Yamaguchi, Chen Yu Fei, Ratchanok Intanon, Chen Qing Chen, Jia Yi Fan, Zheng Si Wei and Dechapol Puavaranukroh were all world junior champions.
A vital function that the event serves is in accelerating badminton’s development, particularly among countries without a badminton tradition. Among those who participated in the 2014 edition, for instance, were Egypt’s Adham Hatem Elgamal and Doha Hany – both are now familiar faces on the HSBC BWF World Tour.
At the 2019 edition, participating teams included Armenia, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Uganda and Uzbekistan, giving their players an opportunity to get a taste of high-level badminton.
With increasing investment into junior programmes, and more tournament exposure at a young age, the quality on display at the World Junior Championships rivals that of many senior events. The pandemic might have disrupted the event, but the 2022 edition will be vital to showcasing the evolution of junior talent over the last two years.
Will new world-beaters emerge in Santander? This is the question that will be uppermost of the minds of fans as the event unfolds in October.
For a player with ‘Make Good Choices’ tattooed across her wrist, Scotland’s No.1 badminton player Kirsty Gilmour certainly has no regrets about her decision to come out as gay publicly for the first time late last year.
Gilmour said she hoped her story could inspire other players who were thinking of making the same bold move.
“If anyone is on the fence about coming out, especially in badminton, male or female or anyone in between, I’ve personally not had anything negative and I hope that is the same for you,” she said.
“I’d say test the water in any way that you want to. A tiny bit for me was putting a little rainbow flag in my bio on my Instagram and my social media. To someone that doesn’t know what that means, it will mean nothing. But to people who know what it means, it means everything.”
Gilmour, 28, has played internationally for over a decade and says her sexuality had been known “for years” among her family and friends. It was not until a November 2021 appearance on the ‘Out with Suzi Ruffell’ podcast that she elected to go public for the first time.
“I’ve had a few random people on the internet saying ‘I didn’t know’ (but) I’ve literally not had a single negative comment and long may that continue,” she said.
“I’ve surrounded myself with really good people and that goes for the badminton community as well. Even though badminton is super popular in some countries that hold really strong religious beliefs, those fans, if you’re a nice, good, respectful badminton player, they’ll be the exact same kind of fan back to you.
“I’ve got ‘Make Good Choices’ on my wrist and ‘it’s going to be ok’ on my ankle. I think so much of what we do we’re in control of (and) in sport we always talk about controlling the controllables.
Gilmour arrived at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games hoping to add to her silver at Glasgow 2014 and bronze at the Gold Coast four years ago, but the Scot fell in the bronze medal playoff to Yeo Jia Min.
The championships run from 22-28 August at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, with 363 players from 47 Member Associations entered.
The top seeds and defending champions fared relative well in their respective draws.
Hee Yong Kai Terry and Tan Wei Han Jessica won Singapore’s first Commonwealth Games badminton gold medal in 20 years on Monday with a routine dispatch of host nation hopefuls Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.
Not since Li Li at the Manchester Games in 2002 has a Singapore player stood atop the Commonwealth podium, but the mixed doubles final never looked in doubt once Hee and Tan opened up a big lead early in the first game.
“We are extremely proud today and we are happy that we made history for Singapore,” Hee said shortly after closing out the match 21-16 21-15 as they became the first pair from their country to win gold.
“It looked comfortable from the score but I can tell you that it was really, really hard for us because towards the end the nerves were creeping in and I was finding it hard to focus.
“Thankfully I have my wife here fighting alongside me and she kept reminding me to stay calm, saying ‘It’s not over yet, let’s not think about winning’. We are really happy to come out on the winning side.”
The husband-and-wife pair faced a raucous early morning home crowd in Birmingham but held the psychological upper hand having triumphed in straight games over Ellis/Smith during the mixed team event.
But when the English duo fought back to lead the second game 11-10 at the break, Tan feared a repeat of Hee’s momentary lapses in concentration which almost proved costly during Sunday’s surprise semifinal defeat of No.1 seeds Tan Kian Meng/Lai Pei Jing of Malaysia.
“I can tell because he starts to rush his shots and he’s not so patient with the set-up of his attack,” Tan said. “It happened in some instances today as well, but he managed to handle himself better than yesterday so I need to give him credit for that.
“It’s Singapore’s national day tomorrow (Tuesday) so I’m really happy that we managed to get a gold medal – it is the best birthday present for our country.”
Hee said the win was also a perfect gift to mark the two-year anniversary of their engagement – although he stopped short of promising his wife of ten months a long overdue honeymoon.
“We don’t have time for that right now – she is very understanding,” he joked.
Landmark Win for Indian Duo
In the men’s doubles final on Monday, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty started as hot favourites against home duo Ben Lane and Sean Vendy but faced the added pressure of making it three Indian gold medals in a row, following earlier victories in the singles events for Pusarla V Sindhu and Lakshya Sen.
“It was amazing having Sindhu and Lakshya win before us,” Rankireddy said following the 21-15 21-13 win, which confirmed a best-ever Commonwealth Games return for India in badminton. “When I came inside the hall before our match the national anthem was playing, and I had goosebumps. We really wanted to do the three in a row.”
A miserable morning on court for England was rounded out when Lauren Smith returned with Chloe Birch for the women’s doubles final, but ran into Malaysian No.1 seeds Pearly Tan and Thinaah Muralitharan in irrepressible form.
“They’ve been pushing some of the top pairs in the world these past six, seven months,” Birch said in response to the crushing 21-5 21-8 defeat. “They played amazing today – they were better than us and all credit to them.”
在以19-21 21-9 21-16的比分赢得比赛后，拉克什亚森说:“换边后情况有了很大的变化。”“我认为我在球场的另一端保持了一个很好的手感，在第二局比赛中我控制了局面。