India’s highest-ranked female shuttler, PV Sindhu, on Thursday, received a Wild Card entry to the BWF World Tour Finals 2019 to be held in Guangzhou in December. So far, she is the only Indian to qualify for the flagship event, male or female.
Despite not being in the top 8 of the Race to Guangzhou standings, Sindhu got an automatic berth because of her win at the World Championships in Basel earlier in August. Currently, with 55,540 points, she is 14th on the list headed by Chen Yufei. Saina Nehwal, on the other hand, is placed at 25th.
The Race to Guangzhou standings differs from the World Rankings in various ways. First of all, only tournaments that took place in 2019 are considered. Secondly, they only count the points gained from Super 1000, 750, 500, 300, and 100 tournaments which means that no International Challenge or below, no team events, and no continental or world championships are taken into account. Lastly, the rankings, in this case, are a straight total, not just a sample of a player’s 10 best results.
For the first time in eight years, no Indian shuttlers, male or female, were in the race for the event. However, Sindhu’s maiden World Championship title means that India will be saved from the embarrassment of having no representative at the year-ending finals.
With the 2020 Tokyo Games just around the corner, the quadrennial obsession with qualifying for the Olympics seems to be back, and consequently, the second annual World Tour Finals has added significance. The event offers more ranking points that will help shuttlers stay in the race for Tokyo. A handsome 12,000 points for winning or even the 6,600 points for just making it out of the group stage is a huge incentive.