Wednesday, May 16, 2018
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Thai players Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Pattarasuda Chaiwan have qualified in first place for the singles categories of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Badminton at the Youth Olympic Games will be held from 7 to 12 October 2018 in the Argentine capital.
Reigning World Junior champion Viditsarn, who was the top ranked Men’s Singles player in the BWF junior World ranking list of the qualifying date (Thursday 3 May 2018), leads a total of 27 players who fill the qualification places. Additionally, there is one place reserved for the host country and four Universality Places in each singles category, adding to a total of 32 for the singles draw.
Viditsarn, who has won four tournaments this year, is followed by Japan’s Kodai Naraoka, Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen, India’s Lakshya Sen, China’s Li Shifeng and Indonesia’s Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay, among others.
A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is allowed a maximum of two representatives in each singles category if both are ranked in the top four on the qualifying date. As China’s Wang Zhiyi and Wei Yaxin are ranked No.2 and No.4 in Women’s Singles, both will qualify behind the No.1, Pattarasuda Chaiwan (featured image), winner of the Yonex German Junior this year.
Other Women’s Singles qualifiers include Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei, India’s Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka, Bulgaria’s Maria Delcheva, Denmark’s Line Christophersen, Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yin Hsuan and Hungary’s Vivien Sandorhazi.
The allocation of qualification places is done ensuring that each of the five continental confederations has at least one athlete in each singles category. An athlete receiving a Universality Place will be considered as satisfying the minimum continental representation in the specific singles category. However, an athlete receiving a host country place will not be considered as satisfying the minimum continental representation in the specific singles category.
NOCs have to confirm in writing to BWF the use of allocated quota places by 31 May 2018, following which BWF will inform Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (BAYOGOC) of the qualified athletes by 15 June 2018.
BWF will allocate all unused quota places by 22 August 2018.
Apart from the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles events, the unique feature of the YOG is that there will be a Mixed NOC team event, with all the players forming eight teams of eight players each (four men and four women). The teams will take each other on in a relay format which will include all five categories (Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles), with the winning point set at 110.