Watchout for the New Badminton Powers: India and Thailand
The badminton landscape is slowly (but surely) shifting. It’s no longer only about Indonesia, China, South Korea, Denmark or Japan. For the past years, India and Thailand are getting more solid in pursuing world-level achievements and we can see how serious they are about this.
Thailand brought in world’s badminton legend for men’s doubles from Indonesia, Rexy Mainaky, as their team’s coach. Meanwhile, India also made a forward move. They have Flandy Limpele to work with the men’s doubles and also signed senior coach Agus Dwi Santoso.
We can already see the results of their hard work now. Today, Thailand does not only have Ratchanok Intanon. After Coach Mainaky came into the picture, Thailand has produced a lot of badminton stars. In men's singles for example, playing at home, Rexy featured many young athletes to accompany Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk. These players include Phetpradab Khosit, Kunlavut Vitidsarn, Sitthikom Thammasin, and Kantaphon Wangcharoe. Meanwhile, in the women's singles, apart from Ratchanok, Thailand already has quite a few familiar names such as Nitchaon Jindapol and Busanan Ongbamrungphan. But also tucked away is Phittayaporn Chaiwan and Supanida Katethong.
India is no longer just around Saina Nehwal. A lot of Indian players are sitting on the world’s top 10 ranking across categories such as Lakshya Sen, Sourabh Verma, Kidambi Srikanth, and Sai Praneeth, to name a few.
It looks like India and Thailand are not only having spectacular seasoned players but also a regeneration and growth of promising future stars. The Yonex Thailand Open, Toyota Thailand Open and the BWF World Tour Final is one of the places to solidify the two countries that they are not to be messed around with.