Denmark Open 2021

After the team events of the past three weeks, the individual tournaments continue. This week, in the Danish city of Odense, the Denmark OpenThe USD 850,000 tournament will have a big clash this Friday evening: All England winner Lee Zii Jia (MAS) against Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen (DEN). This is the revenge from last March at the All England.The matches can be seen live on only in Switzerland

All results are available here:

Thomas & Uber Cup

Since last weekend, after a one-year delay, the final round of the Thomas und Uber-Cup statt. Das Turnier musste wegen der Corona-Pandemie zweimal verschoben werden. Die Mannschafts-WM für Herren- bzw. Damenteams hat eine lange Tradition (es gibt sie seit 1948 bzw. 1956) und sie findet erstmals seit 1982 wieder in Europa statt. Austragungsort ist die dänische Stadt Aarhus.

A team competition consists of three singles matches and two doubles matches.
The defending champions in the men's competition are China, in the women's competition the team from Japan. 
The tournament will be played in four groups of four followed by a knockout system. 
The Swiss men's team lost to Denmark, the 2016 Thomas Cup winners, at the qualifying tournament in France in February 2020.
Info at:
The games are live on only in Switzerland

Thomas Cup:
Group A: Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Algeria 
Group B: Denmark, Korea, Germany, France
Group C: China, India, Netherlands,Tahiti
Group D: Japan, Malaysia, England, Canada

Uber Cup:
Group A: Japan, Indonesia, Germany, France
Group B: Thailand, India, Spain, Scotland
Group C: Korea, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, Tahiti
Group D: China, Denmark, Malaysia, Canada

Sudirman Cup

This Sunday marks the start of the TotalEnergies BWFSudirman-Cup - the Mixed Team World Championship. The venue is the city of Vantaa in Finland.

The tournament is named after Dick Sudirman, the former president of the Indonesian Badminton Association, who donated the trophy in 1988. The first time it was held a year later, it was won by Indonesia - after that, the tournament title went to China eleven times and South Korea four times.

A match consists of five matches, one men's singles and one women's singles as well as one men's doubles, one women's doubles and one mixed doubles.
A total of 16 nations will compete in four groups of four. The two best teams in each group qualify for the 1/4 finals.

The Swiss team failed to qualify for the Sudirman Cup at the European qualifying tournament in Belgium in December 2020.

The tournament is live on only in Switzerland

Why is Denmark so successful in badminton?

Although the country has only 5.8 million inhabitants (Switzerland has 8.5 million), it has many players in the top 100 of the world rankings and, with Viktor Axelsen, it also has the new Olympic champion.

Various reasons seem trivial - but they are probably among the reasons why badminton (along with handball) is so popular and successful in Denmark as a popular and competitive sport. 

The weather and the topographical situation of the country. 
With hardly any snow in winter, little sunshine and no mountains, the population tends to play indoor rather than outdoor sports. There are over 1000 sports halls and gymnasiums where badminton can be played. And 700 clubs with around 94,000 members offer training for kids up to the 60+ age group. 

The numbers in Switzerland are much lower. There are about 220 clubs with a total of 14,000 members, but most of them do not offer youth training.

Many clubs in Denmark have their own sports hallwhich is accessible all year round. In Switzerland, the halls are allocated by the municipalities, which then decide on the training times. However, if the halls remain closed beyond the summer holidays (in the canton of Geneva up to a total of 10 weeks), the children often change their sport after the summer holidays.

Those who play badminton as a competitive sport in Denmark train from the U15 age group onwards in the regional training centre in addition to the club training and thus significantly increase the amount of training. For the top elite, there is a national training centre in Copenhagen where they train twice a day.

Another reason is the training structure. Almost all clubs in Denmark have one or more trained coaches - in Switzerland this is rarely the case. At the elite level, former world number 2 Kenneth Jonassen and doubles and mixed specialist Thomas Stavngaard, among others, work for the national team. Training is not about being the best in the training group or becoming Danish champion, but about being internationally successful. That's why you often see top players giving their match opponents tips on technique and tactics. The stronger the competition in one's own training group or club, the higher the general level will rise.

The Association history (in 2030 the federation will celebrate its 100th anniversary) of the Danish federation shows that the federation was already very successful in the 70s. Flemming Delfs, Jens-Peter Nierhoff, the legendary Morten Frost (now a commentator at the BWF) or Peter Gade and Camilla Martin shaped the sport of badminton in Europe and partly even in the world. Structures that have grown over many years are the reasons for the popularity and success.

In the end, Switzerland can never be as successful in badminton as it is in winter sports, but there will be no Olympic skiing champion from Denmark in the foreseeable future. 

Tokyo: A badminton gold medal for Denmark!

25 years after the Olympic victory of Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen in 1996, a Dane won the gold medal in men's singles again. Viktor Axelsen is the new Olympic champion. In the final, he beat the defending champion Chen Long (CHN) in two sets. Coach Kenneth Jonassen's tactics were excellent and Viktor dominated the match. After the victory, it was difficult for him to control his tears. His childhood dream had come true - he was an Olympic champion.

A rally from the Viktor Axelsen-Chen Long match:

Here are all the medal winners:
Men's Singles
Gold: Viktor AXELSEN (DEN)
Silver: CHEN Long (CHN)
Bronze: Anthony GINTING (INA)

Women's SIngles
Gold: CHEN Yu Fei (CHN)
Silver: TAI Tzu Ying (TPE)
Bronze: P.V. Sindhu (IND)

Men's doubles
Gold: LEE Yang/ WANG Chi-Lin (TPE)
Silver: LI Jun Hui (CHN)/ LIU Yu Chen (CHN)
Bronze: Aaron CHIA/SOH Wood Yik (MAS)

Women's doubles
Gold: Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu (INA)
Silver: CHEN Qing Chen/JIA Yi Fan (CHN)
Bronze: KIM So Yeong/KONG Hee Yong (KOR)

Gold: WANG Yi Lyu/ HUANG Dong Ping (CHN)
Silver: ZENG Si Wei/ HUNAG Ya Qiong (CHN)

Update Tokyo

Link BWF

On Swiss National Day, a player from Guatemala is hoping for a sensation. Kevin Cordon played his way into the semi-finals as an unseeded player where he will meet the big tournament favourite Viktor Axelsen (DEN). Viktor is the last European player in the tournament.
The match schedule on Sunday is as follows (Swiss time)
06.00 Uhr Kevin CORDON- Viktor AXELSEN
06.50 Uhr Anthony GINTING (INA) – CHEN Long (CHN)
13.30 Women's singles bronze medal match: HE Bing Jia (CHN) - PUSARLA V. Sindhu (IND)
14.20 Women's singles gold match: CHEN Yu Fei (CHN) - TAI Tzu Ying (TPE)

These are the medal winners in the men's doubles and mixed respectively.
Herrendoppel:Gold: LEE Yang/ WANG Chi-Lin (TPE)Silber: LI Jun Hui (CHN)Bronze: Aaron CHIA/SOH Wood Yik (MAS)
Mixed:Gold: WANG Yi Lyu/ HUANG Dong Ping (CHN)Silver: ZENG Si Wei/ HUNAG Ya Qiong (CHN)Bronze: Yuta WATANABE/ Arisa HIGASHINO (JPN)

The matches will be livestreamed on SRF or EUROSPORTPLAYER.

Badminton goes Olympics

Although our sport was already presented as a possible Olympic sport in 1972 at the Olympic Games in Munich, it took another 20 years before it was ready. At the premiere in Barcelona in 1992, Silvia Albrecht and Bettina Villars were the Swiss representatives. Four years later, Thomas Wapp and Santi Wibowo each qualified for the tournament in the singles. At the same time, they received the right to start in the mixed tournament, which was held for the first time.

In 2000 and 2004, no Swiss player qualified for the Olympic badminton tournament. In 2008, the two multiple Swiss champions Christian Bösiger and Jeanine Cicognini managed to qualify. In the following years, only Sabrina Jaquet managed to clear this hurdle.

While Silvia Albrecht, Thomas Wapp, Santi Wibowo and Jeanine Cicognini each won a match, Sabrina is still waiting for a successful result. She is now competing in the Olympic badminton tournament for the third time and has a certain routine. Let's hope that she can prepare for the season's highlight without any injuries and that she will deliver a top performance in Tokyo. 

The draw of the badminton tournament brought the following result for Sabrina Jaquet (BWF 46): She will meet Tai Tzu Ying (BWF No. 1 from Taiwan), Vietnamese Thuy Linh Nguyen (BWF 49) and French Qi Xuefei (BWF 41). Only the top of the group qualifies for the knockout round.

Previous Swiss players at the Olympic Games

1992: Singles: Silvia Albrecht/ Doubles: Silvia Albecht/Bettina Villars

1996: Singles: Thomas Wapp and Santi Wibowo and both together in the Mixed

2000: no participation

2004: no participation

2008: Singles: Christian Bösiger and Jeanine Cicognini

2012: Singles: Sabrina Jaquet 

2016: Singles: Sabrina Jaquet 

2020: Singles: Sabrina Jaquet

Tokyo 2020: Possible participant lists published

Since the last two tournaments in Malaysia and Singapore were cancelled due to the Corona pandemic, the presumed participants are now basically fixed.
However, their participation still has to be confirmed by the respective national sports federation and the National Olympic Committees (NOC). Multiple Swiss champion Sabrina Jaquet is ranked 26th on the "Road to Tokyo" qualification list and would thus be the only Swiss badminton player at the Olympic badminton tournament, as she was in 2012 and 2016.

BWF Olympic Ranking

Durch die Absage der letzten beiden Turnier in Malaysia und in Singapore wurden einige Top-Stars um ihre Qualifikationschancen gebracht. Zum Beispiel Saina Nehwal aus Indien. Sie belegt Rang 22 auf der Rangliste «Road to Tokyo». Da pro Nation aber nur zwei SpielerInnen/Paare an den Start gehen dürfen, wenn beide unter den Top 16 im Einzel bzw. Top 8 im Doppel sind, darf die ehemalige Weltranglistenerste nicht nach Tokyo, da ihre Landsfrau Sindhu Pursala Rang sieben belegt.

Japan's Sayaka Takahashi has been hit very hard. She is 11th on the ranking list - but unfortunately, with Nozomi Okuhara (3rd) and Akane Yamaguchi (5th), two other Japanese players are ahead of her on the ranking list and qualified for Tokyo. In this case, the Japanese Badminton Federation has the final say and can decide which player to propose to the NOC for nomination.

It remains 3 x 21!

Big surprise at the delegates' meeting of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) this Saturday. In the run-up, most badminton fans had expected that the 3 x 21 counting system in force since 1.8.2006 would be replaced by the 5 x 11 system (three winning sets to 11 points). But the delegates vote against it. 188 votes would have been necessary for a change - but there were only 187 votes. A shock for all supporters including the old and new President Poul-Erik Hoyer. He was a big supporter of the 5 x 11 system, and it failed for the second time after 2018. This means that in future the system will continue to be 3 x 21 points.

Comes 5 times 11?

The time seems ripe for a renewal.

Vor drei Jahren wurde bei der Jahreshauptversammlung des Weltverbandes BWF der Vorschlag, die Zählweise 5 x 11 (drei Gewinnsätze bis 11 Punkte in allen Disziplinen) einzuführen, von der Mehrheit der versammelten Delegierten abgelehnt. Nur 129 Stimmen waren dafür – nötig gewesen wären aber 168 Stimmen.

But this year there could be a change. The Indonesian federation PBSI will officially make the proposal to change to 5 x 11. The federation is confident of the support of the continental federation Badminton Asia certainly after the Chinese federation had also gained good experience at the national championships in November 2020. However, 7 x 11 was played there (four winning sets to 11 points).

So it may well be that the 3 x 21 counting method in operation since 1 August 2006 will soon be a thing of the past. The decision will be made on 22 May at the BWF Assembly of Delegates, which, like last year, will only be held virtually.