Former world No.1 pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, who haven’t been seen on the circuit since January, have been included in the Indonesian squad for the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 in Suzhou.
The Indonesians can boast of strong men’s doubles – apart from the Minions, they also have All England champions Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto and Thailand Masters winners Leo Rolly Carnando/Daniel Marthin.
Their top-ranked mixed doubles pair – Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati – are not in the squad; instead, Rinov Rivaldy/Pitha Haningtyas Mentari and Dejan Ferdinansyah/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja will be called upon in that department.
Momota Misses Out
Young star Kodai Naraoka, who has risen to his career-best ranking of No.5, will lead Japan’s men’s singles charge in Suzhou. Naraoka is the highest-ranked of the three men’s singles players in the squad, the others being Kenta Nishimoto and Kanta Tsuneyama.
Former No.1 Kento Momota, who led Japan to the Sudirman Cup title round at the last two editions, hasn’t been named in the squad.
While Akane Yamaguchi will be expected to shoulder responsibilities in women’s singles, her back-up will be Saena Kawakami.
China Call on Rising Star
Hosts and title favourites China can bank on a powerful line-up in every department. Interestingly, China have world junior champion Liu Sheng Shu in the team; the 19-year-old has made an impact in her first season on the HSBC BWF World Tour, having won two events with different partners.
Men’s singles will be in the hands of All England finalists Li Shi Feng and Shi Yu Qi, besides Lu Guang Zu, while in women’s singles, they have Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei, He Bing Jiao and Wang Zhi Yi.
Familiar Names for Denmark
There are no surprises in Denmark’s team, which is led by Viktor Axelsen. Other expected names, such as Anders Antonsen, Rasmus Gemke, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen, Mia Blichfeldt, Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen and Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra BØje, are all part of the team.