Dubai: Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth were the only two Indian shuttlers who on Wednesday qualified for the prestigious year-ending $1 million BWF World Superseries Finals to be played at the Hamdan Sports Complex here from December 9-13.
The tournament sees the top eight players/pairs of the world compete in all the five categories of the sport -- singles (men's and women's) and doubles (men's, women's and mixed). Both Saina, who had also reached the title round of this event in 2011, and Srikanth had also qualified last year.
World No.2 Saina qualified quite comfortably, finishing fifth in the Superseries women's singles rankings. The Olympic bronze medallist clinched the India Open title in March after reaching the final of the All England Open -- both of which were Superseries events. Saina had also reached the final of the China Open.
In men's singles, China's Tian Houwei, who finished seventh, missed out as only two players from a member association, in this case China, are eligible to contest. As compatriots, two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan and reigning World Champion Chen Long qualified as No.1 and 5 respectively, Tian had to miss out.
This proved lucky for Srikanth who was able to make the list despite finishing ninth. Since Tian couldn't qualify, the Indian was happy to grab his spot.
In women's doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa missed the mark by two spots as they finished 10th as India also did not see anyone qualifying from men's and mixed doubles.
Last week's Hong Kong Open, the final stop in the 12-strong World Superseries circuit, was the last opportunity for the aspirants for the Dubai trip. The week's proceedings did not see any major shake-up in the standings but some were unlucky to miss out by a few points.
Men's singles qualifiers:
1. Chen Long (China) 79,040 points
2. Kento Momota (Japan) 67,090
3. Jan O Jorgensen (Denmark) 60,760
4. Viktor Axelsen (Denmark) 60,160
5. Lin Dan (China) 59,340
6. Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei) 58,490
(7. Tian Houwei* (China) 54,390 -- *will not qualify as only 2 players from a member association are eligible)
7. Hu Yun (Hong Kong) 46,930
8. Kidambi Srikanth (India) 44,940
Women's singles qualifiers:
1. Carolina Marin (Spain) 77,470
2. Wang Shixian (China) 70,060
3. Wang Yihan (China) 67,870
(4. Li Xuerui* (China) 62,370 -- *will not qualify as only 2 players from a member association are eligible)
4. Nozomi Okuhara (Japan) 61,120
5. Saina Nehwal (India) 59,650
6. Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) 57,990
7. Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) 57,750
8. Sung Ji Hyun (Korea) 55,480
Men's Doubles qualifiers:
1. Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (Korea) 84,410
2. Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen (Denmark) 67,780
3. Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa (Japan) 67,040
4. Chai Biao/Hong Wei (China) 63,840
5. Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) 63,220
6. Zhang Nan/Fu Haifeng (China) 61,160
7. Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang (Korea) 56,740
8. Mads Conrad Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding (Denmark) 53,940
Women's Doubles qualifiers:
1. Luo Ying/Luo Yu (China) 65,860
2. Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Denmark) 61,180
3. Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) 58,970
4. Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii (Indonesia) 58,890
5. Eefje Muskens/Selena Piek (Netherlands) 46,280
6. Chae Yoo Jung/Kim So Yeong (Korea) 45,860
7. Reika Kakiiwa/Miyuki Maeda (Japan) 44,830
8. Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei (China) - 33,950 Wild Cards as World Champions
Mixed Doubles qualifiers:
1. Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei (China) 82,070
2. Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin (China) 73,390
3. Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na (Korea) 72,010
(4.Xu Chen/Ma Jin* (China) 66,940 -- *will not qualify as only 2 pairs from a member association are eligible)
4. Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia) 64,660
5. Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen (Denmark) 64,140
(6. Lu Kai/Huang Yaqiong* (China) 60,510 -- *will not qualify as only 2 pairs from a member association are eligible)
6. Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock (England) 60,430
7. Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (Indonesia) 57,330
8. Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah (Hong Kong) 46,320