From Carolina Marin to Kento Momota, here is a look at the in-form shuttlers dominating the badminton world currently:
Badminton’s reach in the last decade has amplified globally as we no longer see the regular heavyweights like Chinese, Indonesians or Koreans dominating the sport. Several other Asian and European countries have joined the fray to make the game challenging like never before. It has seen the rise of global superstars from different parts of the world. With the likes of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei or Li Xuerui no longer in contention for top honours, let us look at the in-form shuttlers in the world:
The Japanese shuttler is on a dream run of late, winning major badminton trophies in the last few years. The current World No.1 has already won two back-to-back World Championships – 2018 and 2019. He also has two Asian Championships to his name.
In March 2019, he became the first Japanese player to win the All England Open title, beating Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in a thrilling final. The skillful Japanese star is an all-round attacking player who provides a difficult challenge for any opponent on a given day.
Considered one of the best badminton players in the world, Axelsen is known for his powerful smash. The tall player at 6’4″ can make life extremely hard for the opponents with his steeper smash. The Danish star has good reflexes for a tall player and has worked hard on his defensive game in the last few years.
He has won the World Championships at the senior and the junior level. The senior Championship title came in 2017. Last year, he won the All England Open, famously becoming the first European to lift the men’s singles trophy since 1999.
The Taiwanese player is arguably the most in-form female shuttler in the world right now. She has won a plethora of titles and medals since the last Olympics in 2016. Last year she won the All-England Badminton Championships for a third time in four years.
The current World No.1 has won successive Asian Championships in 2017 and 2018. The most impressive of it all was the three BWF World Tour Finals titles. The recent BWF World Tour win would have been extra special as she stunned the reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the final.
The aggressive left-handed Spaniard has been a symbol of consistency for many years now. She has won three World Championships till now, including two successive victories in 2104 and 2015. But the biggest of it all was the Gold medal in Rio Olympics. She defeated PV Sindhu in an epic final to bag the coveted medal in Rio 2016. Marin has also won an All England Open in 2015, beating Saina Nehwal in the final. The Spanish shuttler has won every possible title out there and is showing no signs of slowing down, making her one of the top shuttlers in the world currently.