Home2022Waiting for Momota's Power to Return

Waiting for Momota’s Power to Return

The world of badminton slowly getting back to it’s former glory. After the Covid-19 pandemic began to ease, the world's top badminton players returned to the spotlight. Since 2020 many championships have been postponed. Even if it was held, not all of the world's top athletes would compete.

 

But it's different with the All England 2022. The tournament, which will be held at the Birmingham Arena, England, from March 16 to March 20, will have almost all of the world's top badminton players including players from China. All England is indeed the main attraction. Moreover, many say that the 123-year-old tournament is an unofficial World Championship.

  

In the men's singles, the gold medalist of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Viktor Axelsen, is placed as the top seed. However, there is no guarantee for the Danish badminton player to easily become a winner like he did in 2020. The second seed from Japan Kento Momota could be a challenge despite his recent unstable performance.

 

In the 2021 All England, Kento Momota who was seeded in the first place was painfully eliminated in the quarter-finals. He lost two straight games 16-21, 19-21 to Malaysian representative Lee Zii Jia who just lost at the German Open and might use the All England 2022 as a moment to show his true power. Last weekend, Kento Momota was also in the spotlight. Seeded in second place, he was immediately eliminated in the first round of the German Open by his compatriot, Kenta Nishimoto, in two straight games 21-23, 9-21. Of course, the 2022 All England will prove whether he can still compete for the title. An achievement that he had achieved in 2019.

 

Besides Kento Momota, there's also Lee Zii Jia from Malaysia and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting from Indonesia who will also fight for the men’s singles title. And don't forget Loh Kean Yew who holds the status of world champion. German Open 2022 winner Kunlavut Vitidsarn from Thailand and 2nd place winner Lakshya Sen from India will make the competition in the men’s single a very exciting one to see.

 

For women's singles, All England 2022 also marks the return of world badminton queen from Chinese Taipei Tai Tzu Ying. Since failing to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics, the 27-year-old woman had never participated in any championship again. This lengthy absence could also make it difficult for her to become champion for the fourth time after 2017, 2018, and 2020. 

 

The 2019 champion Chen Yufei from China is one of her toughest opponents. At the All England 2022, Chen Yufei, who is also a gold medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is seeded third. The second seed is Akane Yamaguchi. Even though she has never been an All England champion, she has the potential to stop Tai Tzu Ying and Chen Yufei. Akane Yamaguchi was able to win nine times and lose 10 times when she met Tai Tzu Ying. There is also a name that should not be underestimated, namely the sixth seed Nozomi Okuhara. The Japanese badminton player has won the All England twice, namely in 2016 and 2021.

 

For doubles, the excitement can be said to be reduced. This is because of the Taiwanese Olympic champion duo Lee Yang/Wang Chi-lin. Only the absence of the third world ranking is not a guarantee that the two Indonesian pairs, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya, who are seeded in the top position, and Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan, the second seed, will walk easily to the finals. There are third seeds Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi from Japan and Malaysian doubles Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik who will fight for the men’s doubles title. 

 

Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi won twice in the last meeting with the Minions, the nickname of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya. On the other hand, we shall see if Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan who are not young anymore, will have a hard time facing their opponents who are much younger that rely on speed.

  

There is also tough competition in women's doubles. Four countries with their representatives will compete against each other, namely China, Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea. The decline of world number one who is also the silver medalist of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Chen Qingchen/Jia Yifan has the potential to hamper the double domination of Korea, Lee So-hee/Shin Seung-chan (2nd seed) and Kim So-yeong/Kong Hee-yong (3rd seed). Apart from them, Japan is still the favorite to steal the title in this number. Moreover, their representatives have proven capable of becoming champions, namely Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara in 2021 and the pair Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota in 2020. Another double that can make a surprise is Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu. They have the chance to end Indonesia's 43-year title drought in women's doubles. The last time, the pair Verawaty Fajrin / Imelda Wiguna won the All England in 1979.

 

The Thai pair Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai from Thailand who was on fire were seeded as the mixed doubles champion. The 2021 BWF World Tour Finals champions and the 2021 World Champions have a solid footing. However, that is not a guarantee that they will return to the honorable podium again. Two Chinese pairs, Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong and Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping, will be the toughest challenges. In addition, Japanese mixed doubles Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashimo will surely fight for the title won last year. 

 

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