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Are Asian shuttlers truly better than their European counterparts?

Total BWF World Championships 2018 - Day 5
Total BWF World Championships 2018 - Day 5
Modified 04 Aug 2018, 10:11 IST

TOTAL BWF World Championships 2018 is coming to an end, with the semi-finals coming up on Saturday (4 August) and the finals on Sunday (5 August). With a quick look at the players who are still in the running for the title, we can draw some conclusions about the domination of Asia in the beautiful sport of Badminton. However, the grade of domination is not the same in all divisions!!!

With this article, I intend to prove that we can apply mathematics and odds calculation to badminton.

Men's Singles

When we look at the seeded entries, there are sixteen seeded positions in total, spread over 9 countries. Of those 9 countries, 8 are Asian and only 1 isn't: Denmark. This yields a total of 14 Asian players and 2 Danish (European) players in the seeded entries. One of the two Europeans is the last seeded entry, so when we look at the top 15 seeds, only 1 is not Asian. The list of seeded entries (of all divisions) is available on the BWF-website here. Also, the draws can be found here.

When we look at who's still in the tournament, it becomes really interesting. We can see that all the players that reached the semi-finals are Asian: 2 from China, 1 from Japan and 1 from Malaysia.

Women's Singles

In the seeded entries for women, 10 countries are represented. European women score better than men with 3 of the 10 being non-Asian: 1 from USA, 1 from Canada and 1 from Spain. That means that America does even better than Europe. But, looking at the top 10 of the women's singles seeded entries, only 1 out of 10 is non-Asian: Spain's Carolina Marin who's positioned 7th.

And non-Asian women have also performed better than the men. In the semi-final, 1 woman will be present: Carolina Marin from Spain. The other three are Asian with China, India and Japan represented.

Men's Doubles

In the seeded entries of men's doubles, only 7 countries have a place. That means an average of more than 2 players from each country. And 2 of those 7 countries are European: Denmark and Russia. Out of 16 seeds, 4 players are European: 3 from Denmark and 1 from Russia. Denmark clearly has a leading position in the world in men's doubles. 3 out of the 8 best seeds are from Denmark, the 10th is from Russia.


However, coming to the performances, we see that none of the semi-finalists is non-Asian, with the four semi-finalists being Chinese (2), Japanese and Taiwanese.

Women's Doubles

Women are now scoring less than the men. Out of 8 countries with seeded entries, 2 are European, or non-Asian: Bulgaria and Denmark. From both countries, only 1 pair is seeded, so 14 out of 16 players are Asian, and 2 aren't. In the top 10, only one European pair is represented.

Women clearly do not have much of a chance, and that's visible. None of the four players in the semi-finals is non-Asian, with 3 being from Japan and 1 from Indonesia. Japan is clearly dominating this division.

Mixed Doubles

European players become better when they're mixed, is the conclusion. But they are still not good enough. Out of 10 countries, 3 are European, non-Asian: Denmark, England and Germany. England has 2 seeded entries, so we have a total of 4 non-Asian players and 12 Asian players out of 16 entries. But 2 of the European seeded entries are in the top 6.

But still, 2 out of 6 is not enough. In the semi-finals, four Asians will be present, so none of the European players reached the semi-finals. China is clearly dominating the mixed division: 3 semi-finalists from China and 1 from Hong Kong (which is in China).

Published 04 Aug 2018, 10:11 IST
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