World Championships: Ko/Shin Returns, Due Time for Ponnappa/Gutta


The Tour travels to Indonesia for the biggest tournament of the season, the BWF World Championships, on Tuesday, as Team VICTOR players Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Choel return to defend their title.
The reigning World Champions haven’t had a lot of badminton while Shin was sidelined with a leg injury and they only reunited in an official tournament not until the Australian Open Superseries in May, where they finished in the quarterfinals as non-seeds. Unseeded again, one week later, they made it on the podium with the gold at the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier, taking down their final rivals in the 2014 World Championships final, Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong en route.
Ko Sung Hyun, Shin Baek Choel, World Championships
Team VICTOR's Shin Baek Choel (L) and Ko Sung Hyun have a stern opening challenge potentially against Malaysia's Tan and Goh.
Ko Sung Hyun, Shin Baek Choel, World Championships
Ko Sung Hyun (L) and Shin Baek Choel defeated Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong in 2014 final. © Badmintonphoto
The two teams are on the separate halves this week but Ko/Shin, with a bye in the round of 64, could be facing Malaysia’s no.1 and another pair of VICTOR stars Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem in their first match. It is not any easier for top seeds Lee/Yoo as last year’s semifinalists in Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang as the 12th seeds fall in their section and only one of the two teams can reach the last 8 this time.
There’s no better place for the big major breakthrough than the Worlds. That was the case for India’s super stars Ashwini Ponnappa, proudly equipped with VICTOR gears, and her partner Jwala Gutta when they picked up a bronze medal in 2011 at this prestigious tournament and got to a high ranking of world no.13. However, it’s been a tough road with injuries and off-court issues ever since. After four years of persevering and grinding, they are regaining some of their best form following a semifinal showing at the US Open GPG and a victory at the Canada Open GP in June. It’s definitely shaping up nicely that the good friends are due for another breakthrough where it all started.
Ponnappa and Gutta are now at a new career high no.12 coming into Jakarta, saying they are targeting nothing less than a medal. “"Preparations have been great. Jwala had a brief stay in Bengaluru before back training in Hyderabad and we’ve got in a couple of good training sessions.” Ponnappa told local newspapers. “Our Canada win will be a big boost for us. This time, we're also seeded at the Worlds, it's very important that we take one match at a time.”
Ashwini Ponnappa
Team VICTOR sweetheart Ashwini Ponnappa (L) and Jwala Gutta, now at a new career high no.12, are seeded 12th this week.
Ashwini, Jwala Gutta
Ponnappa (L) hopes they will regain their medal-winning form four years ago.
Ko/Shin, Chinese Taipei Open
Ko Sung Hyun (L) and Shin Baek Choel haven't entered any tournament this season until May, but won the Indonesia Open in June at their second event back.
Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem, 陳煒強
Tan Wee Kiong (L) and Goh V Shem haven't got any luck in the draw as they could face the defending champions the earliest possible.
Goh Liu Ying, Chan Peng Soon
Chan Peng Soon (L) and Goh Liu Ying's comeback has been one of the big stories of the year. They were as high as no.3 in 2013.
Malaysia Badminton, BAM
Team Malaysia traveld to Jakarta for the 2015 World Champs on Thursday for early preperation. 
Lee Yong Dae, Yoo Yeon Seong
World no.1 team Lee Yong Dae (L) and Yoo Yeon Seong were one match away from the coveted title "World Champion".
Liliyana Natsir, Tontowi Ahmad
Tontowi Ahmad (L) and Liliyana Natsir won here in 2013.
周凱華, Chau Hoi Wah
It's been a breakthrough year for Team VICTOR rookie, Hong Kong's Chau Hoi Wah.
Tai Tzu Ying
2014 BWF Superseries Finals champon Tai Tzu Ying takes up one of the top four seedings for the first time at the prestigious tournament.

The Real Deal

VICTOR is inviting you to join us in tracking and examining the best results from Team VICTOR players and cheering for them along the way to the Summer Olympics.
Starting from Sudirman Cup in May, 2015, in a 52-week process, players will be giving all out to fight for their Olympic dream and to collect the ranking points on the BWF World Tour for the final qualification. In our #TheReaDeal on-line campaign, we’ll be taking a look at the names which are going to make a “Rio” threat as we count down to the badminton event of the world sport gala.
The Real Deal, Olympic Games Badminton

( Edit by VICTOR Badminton )