Timely Reward for Christie

For someone who is an Asian Games gold medallist, Jonatan Christie’s Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open title yesterday was – oddly enough – his first World Tour title.

The New Zealand Open was the first event in the qualifying period for Tokyo 2020. Only two players per member association will make it to Tokyo, and Sunday’s win will provide a head start over his compatriots. A more immediate payoff is the effect of the ranking points on a high seeding at the upcoming TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019.

Christie has been in good form this season.

“This is the perfect start to Olympic qualifying for me,” said Christie, following his 21-12 21-13 defeat of Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long.

The Indonesian has been in a few other finals, but had never quite stepped over the final barrier until the Asian Games. At the Thailand Open 2017, then a Grand Prix Gold event, he fell to Sai Praneeth, and a few months later, he was in his first Superseries final, at the Korea Open where he couldn’t get past compatriot Anthony Ginting.

Last year began uneventfully before he reached the New Zealand Open final, where he lost to Lin Dan in straight games. A first round defeat at the World Championships followed, but then, against the run of form came a sensational week at the Asian Games, which culminated in him winning his biggest title – in front of his home crowd.

The New Zealand Open was Christie’s first World Tour title.

This season has seen him play at a high level on a more consistent basis, starting with a semifinal at the Indonesia Masters, another semifinal at the Malaysia Open – where he beat Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen on consecutive days – and a quarterfinal at the Singapore Open.

On his day, the attacking Indonesian can be quite a sight – an example would be his 21-6 second game pulverising of World Tour Finals champion Shi Yuqi at the Indonesia Masters – but he will be hoping to string it together over longer periods.

The New Zealand Open victory therefore comes at the right time, when he is seeking to consolidate his gains.

“I’m very excited with this being my first time as champion on the HSBC BWF World Tour at the Super 300 level. I now hope to be champion at the Super 500, Super 750 and maybe Super 1000 level,” said Christie.

And with the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 coming up, Indonesian fans will hope Christie can provide the thrust in men’s singles to help the team capture its first title since 1989.

Olympic and Paralympic News

Refugee Athlete Mahmoud Resilient Despite Lockdown Blues

Refugee Athlete Mahmoud Resilient Despite Lockdown Blues

20 June 2020
Pandemic Spurs Pak to Pick Up Sixth Language

Pandemic Spurs Pak to Pick Up Sixth Language

31 May 2020
Marcus Ellis | Part II: Homing in on Success

Marcus Ellis | Part II: Homing in on Success

30 May 2020
‘The Break is Nice… But It’s a Little Too Long!’

‘The Break is Nice… But It’s a Little Too Long!’

2 May 2020
New Dates Announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

New Dates Announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

30 March 2020
BWF Responds to Tokyo 2020 Postponement

BWF Responds to Tokyo 2020 Postponement

25 March 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Postponed

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Postponed

24 March 2020
COVID-19 Leads to Suspension of Further Events

COVID-19 Leads to Suspension of Further Events

20 March 2020
IOC Issues Communique on Tokyo 2020

IOC Issues Communique on Tokyo 2020

18 March 2020
‘Scarred’ Momota Dreaming of Olympic Glory Again

‘Scarred’ Momota Dreaming of Olympic Glory Again

9 March 2020
Badminton Asia Championships Moved To Manila

Badminton Asia Championships Moved To Manila

4 March 2020
IOC President Confident of Successful Olympics

IOC President Confident of Successful Olympics

4 March 2020
Olympic Qualifier in Portugal Called Off

Olympic Qualifier in Portugal Called Off

2 March 2020
‘Big Teams Are Taking Us More Seriously’

‘Big Teams Are Taking Us More Seriously’

28 February 2020
BWF Statement on Postponement of Vietnam International Challenge

BWF Statement on Postponement of Vietnam International Challenge

25 February 2020
Countdown to Glory – Five Months to Go

Countdown to Glory – Five Months to Go

25 February 2020
‘She Thought I was Joking About Pairing Up’

‘She Thought I was Joking About Pairing Up’

19 February 2020
Bold Predictions for 2020

Bold Predictions for 2020

15 February 2020
Sindhu’s New Strength is her Presence of Mind

Sindhu’s New Strength is her Presence of Mind

13 February 2020
Beyond the Numbers Game

Beyond the Numbers Game

12 February 2020
Sabrina Jaquet: Seeking Rhythm

Sabrina Jaquet: Seeking Rhythm

11 February 2020
Ho-Shue: Primed for a Twin Challenge

Ho-Shue: Primed for a Twin Challenge

7 February 2020
Mahmoud Hangs On Despite Challenges

Mahmoud Hangs On Despite Challenges

3 February 2020
BWF Statement on Postponement of Lingshui China Masters

BWF Statement on Postponement of Lingshui China Masters

1 February 2020
Gicquel & Delrue: Rapid Ascent

Gicquel & Delrue: Rapid Ascent

30 January 2020
Thai Triumph Provides Fillip for Ellis & Smith in Olympic Year

Thai Triumph Provides Fillip for Ellis & Smith in Olympic Year

28 January 2020
A Leap Up for Thygesen & Fruergaard

A Leap Up for Thygesen & Fruergaard

22 January 2020
Tokyo Legends Inspiring Current Stars

Tokyo Legends Inspiring Current Stars

21 December 2019
Stoevas Seek Form After Disruption

Stoevas Seek Form After Disruption

25 November 2019
Olympic Champ Carolina Marin Returns

Olympic Champ Carolina Marin Returns

11 September 2019
Pan Am Champs Seek to Sharpen Skills

Pan Am Champs Seek to Sharpen Skills

5 September 2019
IOC President Fascinated with Badminton Finals

IOC President Fascinated with Badminton Finals

29 August 2019
Miyuki Maeda Revels in New Role

Miyuki Maeda Revels in New Role

9 August 2019
Olympic Fever in Tokyo

Olympic Fever in Tokyo

27 July 2019
One Year To Tokyo 2020: Players’ Thumbs-Up for Olympics Venue

One Year To Tokyo 2020: Players’ Thumbs-Up for Olympics Venue

24 July 2019
Olympic Dreams Spur On Refugee Champ Mahmoud

Olympic Dreams Spur On Refugee Champ Mahmoud

12 July 2019
Aram Mahmoud Receives IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship

Aram Mahmoud Receives IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship

21 June 2019
Michelle Li – Playing with Pain on Road to Tokyo

Michelle Li – Playing with Pain on Road to Tokyo

11 June 2019
‘Competition Against Great Players Brought Out Best in Me’ – Bang Soo Hyun

‘Competition Against Great Players Brought Out Best in Me’ – Bang Soo...

6 June 2019
What We Have Learned – Road To Tokyo

What We Have Learned – Road To Tokyo

29 May 2019
‘Ygor’ for Success in Tokyo!

‘Ygor’ for Success in Tokyo!

30 April 2019
And They’re Off!

And They’re Off!

29 April 2019
Fighting To Be Fit Again

Fighting To Be Fit Again

28 April 2019
Badminton Olympic Competition Schedule Announced

Badminton Olympic Competition Schedule Announced

16 April 2019
Lee Chong Wei in Search of Olympic miracle

Lee Chong Wei in Search of Olympic miracle

16 April 2019
New Lustre to the Legend

New Lustre to the Legend

10 April 2019
Tai Undecided on Retirement Post Tokyo 2020

Tai Undecided on Retirement Post Tokyo 2020

8 April 2019
Somerville/Mapasa Seek to Cover Lost Ground

Somerville/Mapasa Seek to Cover Lost Ground

5 April 2019
Comeback Man Parupalli Targets Tokyo 2020

Comeback Man Parupalli Targets Tokyo 2020

2 April 2019
Women Trailblazers – Rio Flashback

Women Trailblazers – Rio Flashback

23 March 2019
New Era Set to Dawn – Road To Tokyo

New Era Set to Dawn – Road To Tokyo

23 March 2019
Tokyo 2020 on the Horizon

Tokyo 2020 on the Horizon

22 March 2019
YOG Stars to Watch – Road To Tokyo

YOG Stars to Watch – Road To Tokyo

22 March 2019