Canadian Athletes on Track for Tokyo 2020!
November 8, 2019
How many athletes would qualify for the Olympic if the season ended today?
For the past 6 months many top Canadian athletes have been traveling the world, competing in BWF international events with the hopes to gain world ranking points in order to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer. November marks the halfway point in the Olympic qualification period, ending April 26, 2020, so athletes still have plenty of time to make their final push and secure their spot for the Games. Up to 172 of the best badminton players from around the world will meet in Tokyo next summer, and Team Canada hopes to qualify as many athletes as possible!
Qualification of these Games will be based on the BWF Ranking list to be published on April 28, 2020, providing a total of 16 pairs in each doubles event, and an initial allocation of 38 players in each singles event:
- Ranking 1-16: Players are taken in turn. A NOC (National Olympic Comittee) may enter up to a maximum of 2 players, provided both are ranked in the top 16.
- Ranking 17 and below: Players are taken in turn. A NOC may enter a maximum of 1 player.
- 34 players to qualify with a max of 38 spots to be filled
- Rankings 1–8: Pairs are taken in turn. A NOC may enter up to a maximum of 2 pairs, provided both pairs are ranked in the top 8.
- Rankings 9 and above: Pairs are taken in turn. A NOC may enter a maximum of 1 pair.
- 32player/16 pairs to qualify
Additionally, each event must feature at least 1 athlete from each of the 5 Continental Confederations (Pan-America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania) given that each continent has an athlete in the BWF world rankings.
For full details on Olympic qualification click here
So how is Canada doing? How many athletes will we qualify for the Games?
Michelle Li is currently Canada’s highest ranked player, sitting at 8th in the BWF women’s singles world rankings. This means that not only is she in a very strong position to qualify, but there is potential for her to be a top seed at the Olympics. Holding onto a top 13 spot would mean being the top player in her pool during the group stage, which means a better chance to qualify for the elimination rounds.
In Women’s Doubles Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai are also eyeing an Olympic birth. Currently sitting at 26th in the world, if qualification were to end today Rachel and Kristen would be the 14th team to qualify. With many events still to be played, nothing is set in stone. However, Rachel and Kristen have been stringing together some outstanding performances and results, which is promising for our Canadians.
For mixed doubles, Joshua Hurlburt-Yu and Josephine Wu are currently 32nd in the world rankings, which is good for the 17th Olympic qualification spot. Also, to their advantage, they are the top ranked Pan-American team meaning that they have multiple paths to Tokyo at their disposal. Although, qualification spots are far from solidified, so they must keep fighting over the coming months to reach the top 16 and guarantee their spot.
In a very similar situation to our Mixed Doubles hopefuls are the Men's Doubles pair of Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. Currently 37th in the world and 16th for Olympic qualification, Jason and Nyl are also the top ranked Pan-American team in their division - which bodes well for our Canadians.
Men’s singles also remains very close as Canada has three athletes with a chance to make it to the Games. Jason Anthony Ho-Shue, Brian Yang, and B.R. Sankeerth, world rank 64th, 83rd, and 98th respectively, all stand a chance to grab onto a spot for Team Canada. It will no doubt come down to the wire for our Men's Singles hopefuls, so stay tuned as the picture becomes clearer!
"It is looking promising to qualify an athlete/pair in each event at the Games" said National Team Head Coach, Mike Butler. "A strong push in the remaining months should put our Canadians in safe positions to qualify."
Best of luck to all our athletes for the remainder of the qualification period! GO CANADA GO!