All Olympic champions, with the exception of men’s doubles winners Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin, will be seen in action at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2021 that begins in Vantaa on 26 September 2021.
Interestingly, with Olympic silver medallist Chen Long missing in the line-up, the responsibility will fall on Shi Yu Qis shoulders. He will be backed by Lu Guang Zu and Youth Olympic Games champion Li Shi Feng, while Chen Yu Fei’s backup will be He Bing Jiao and 21-year-old Wang Zhi Yi.
Men’s doubles mainstays Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen haven’t been named, but China have a wealth of talent to choose from, including Liu Cheng, Feng Yan Zhe, He Ji Ting, and Tan Qiang.
Momota Leads Japan
Japan, runners-up in 2019, will be without some of their most accomplished men’s doubles players such as Takeshi Kamura, Keigo Sonoda and Hiroyuki Endo. However, they can count on World Championships runners-up Takuro Hoki/Yugo Kobayashi and Akira Koga/Taichi Saito.
Apart from the familiar names in men’s doubles, Japan will have a strong line-up that includes Kento Momota, Nozomi Okuhara, Akane Yamaguchi, Mayu Matsumoto, Wakana Nagahara, Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino.
Indonesia Bank on Experience
Indonesia, who will seek to reclaim the title they won in its debut year 1989, have a team rich with experience. World champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan are alongside the ‘Minions’, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, and Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
Olympic champions Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu will head their women’s doubles challenge, backed by Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Ribka Sugiarto. Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Jonatan Christie and Shesar Hiren Rhustavito lend strength to their men’s singles, while in women’s singles, 19-year-old Putri Kusuma Wardani and fellow-teen Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo will back up Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.
Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti and Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari will shoulder responsibilities in mixed doubles.
Denmark at Full Strength
Denmark have a full-strength squad, led by Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen, and includes their top players in all categories, such as Mia Blichfeldt (women’s singles), Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (men’s doubles), Sara Thygesen and Maiken Fruergaard (women’s doubles), and Mathias Christiansen and Alexandra Boje (mixed doubles).
Chinese Taipei Without Tai
Apart from Lee/Wang, Chinese Taipei are also without silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying and men’s singles world No.11 Wang Tzu Wei. The team will be led by Chou Tien Chen. Similarly, India will be without their two biggest women’s singles players Pusarla V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.
Malaysia have not opted for their three highest-ranked mixed doubles pairs, and have chosen Hoo Pang Ron/Cheah Yee See and Chen Tang Jie/Peck Yen Wei.
Apart from those named above, fans can look forward to seeing these stars in action: An Seyoung, Kim Soyeong, Kong Heeyong (Korea); Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia, Soh Wooi Yik (Malaysia); Vladimir Ivanov, Ivan Sozonov (ROC); Marcus Ellis, Lauren Smith (England); Mark Lamsfuss, Isabel Herttrich (Germany); Dechapol Puavaranukroh, Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand); and Kidambi Srikanth, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (India).