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Should we allow automatic qualification for defending champions?

Discussion in 'World Championships 2014' started by galaxyduo, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    It find it very disturbing that whoever becomes the "World Champion" this year is not really the true "World Champion" in MS. This is because there is a very capable player - Lin Dan -that is not part of this competition that is capable of beating whoever the MS World Champion is. Watch LD's recent tournaments and arguably, he is probably a top 2 player in the world, only losing to Jan O' Jorgensen. In fact, LD's ranking today is #9 and nobody doubts that his ranking will continue to climb.

    But put aside his ranking for a moment. The closest major sport to badminton, Tennis, often uses wild cards:


    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_card_(sports)#Professional_tennis)

    Tennis has no problem issuing wild cards to capable players because the organizers know the players they select for wild cards are very capable of winning the tournament. You can Google "tennis wildcard" and you will see in the latest news, they continue to hand wild cards left and right in the world of tennis. Hey, guess what? BWF also gave a wild card to a player last year for the World Championship and not surprisingly, he also won the tournament!

    In the three tennis example above, in 2001, 2009, and 2012, none of the wild card winners were the champion the year before. Hmm, but this year in badminton, the defending champion of MS will get to laugh at the "fake" World Champion because in his heart, he knows he could mop the floor of whoever becomes the eventual World Champion. Unfortunately, he can't prove that he can mop the floor of whoever becomes the eventual World Champion because BWF won't give him a wild card :)

    Let's move on to football. In the World Cup, the defending champion was always given a "wild card" or automatic for the next World Cup up until 2002. FIFA's reasoning was that 4 years is too long of a time for the defending champion to maintain their form, especially since entire team rosters can largely change during that 4 year period (I disagree strongly with FIFA since countries that manage to win the World Cup will be competitive 4 years down the road). The problem we have in badminton is that the defending champion just won last year, not 4 years ago. LD's game has not had a huge drop from last year.

    In my heart and in the hearts of many more badminton fans around the world, we will think the "World Champion" this year is really the runner-up to the "true World Champion" who gets to watch the event from his TV at home. Maybe BWF should rename this year's event to BWF "Runner Up to World Champion" and that would be much more accurate.

    So why not change the rules to allow for automatic qualification for the defending champion? There are 64 spots. #64 has no chance of winning and frankly, if I were #64 and lost my spot to the defending champion, I would not feel bad because that means I need to improve my game even more so that I am well beyond #64 for next year.

    Put it this way, if Muhammad Ahsan were injured and his ranking with Hendra Setiawan dropped before the WC started such that Ahsan/Setiawan did not have the ranking points to qualify for the WC, but Muhammad Ahsan managed to regain 100% fitness before the WC started, would you not want to see Ahsan/Setiawan defend their title?
     
  2. Mr. Epic

    Mr. Epic Regular Member

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    The field would certainly have become even more competitive if Lin Dan were to be playing. But I think, Lin Dan could have just begun playing tournaments a bit earlier had he wanted to safely qualify. Why rely on wild cards?
     
  3. demolidor

    demolidor Regular Member

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    These are all "open"/commercial tournaments and the wildcards are at the organizers discretion; if you want to draw a comparison with WC you should search for wildcards/automatic berths given to the ATP Finals ...
    In principle I am not against automatic qualification for the defending champion ... provided they are involved in the tour in some form during the year. Lin Dan has done practically nothing these past two years outside of China ... he prefers to pay a small fine rather than help promote the sport internationally (and don't come around with the ridiculous youtube streaming as an excuse; "nobody" watches it)

    Rather than doing yet another topic on this, you are better off going through last year's topic ;)

    ATP/WTA market their players, BWF is stuck with national associations running the show :eek: ...
     
  4. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    Just out of interest, would you feel the same way if the only reason LD was unable to play WC was because he was injured?
     
  5. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    If Lin Dan can't play because of his injury, then obviously, he is incapable of becoming the World Champion, correct?

    Would professional tennis organizers give a wild card to a player that is injured and incapable of competing? Probably not.
     
  6. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    It's like badminton is 10 years behind Tennis. It took badminton so long to use technology for more accurate line calls - Tennis had that over 10 years ago. Same for wild cards.

    To be frank, I think they should use more than one wild card for the World Championship. And they should even use wild cards for Super Series events. Just follow Tennis because Tennis is doing it right.

    The BWF will waste their time changing the point system to help market badminton. And yet they have the most marketable player in the world not part of this tournament.
     
    #6 galaxyduo, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  7. amirulasyraf

    amirulasyraf Regular Member

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    lin dan did not collect the qualification point for the world championship.. even though he is still capable to defend his title, he still not qualified through merit..i don't think BWF want to give the wild for second consecutive year for Lin Dan. same as FIFA World Cup, if you do not join the world cup qualification, you cannot enter the world cup
     
  8. nokh88

    nokh88 Regular Member

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    This is very confusing.

    The thread title : Should we allow automatic qualification for defending champions? is a question and the answer is obvious. Just follow the rules. The rules says no automatic qualification and that you have to play to earn enough points to qualify and defend the title.
    Simple as that.

    LD is good and capable of winning another title but everyone must follow the rules. He already enjoyed a free entry in last year's edition. Come on, contribute to the sport and participate regularly like every player and qualify on merit. Don't behave like the sport owe or need him. BWF must be firm

    If you are talking about wild cards, then the thread title should be : Should we give wild cards to defending champions?
     
  9. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    That's not what I am asking. You stated "It find it very disturbing that whoever becomes the "World Champion" this year is not really the true "World Champion" in MS"
    Now if Lin Dan was injured and couldn't play even if given a wild card would you still feel that, "the world champion this year is not really a true world champion".
     
  10. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    Then the world champion is truly the world champion because an injured player that can't play can't possibly become the champion. Does that answer your question?
     
  11. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    Not sure why you are repeating this. Everybody knows this.

    This thread is about changing the rules so we can have a better tournament in the future. Stop talking about the past - in the past, we did not use technology to determine line calls. Now we use line technology and everyone agrees it is a big improvement.

    Look towards the future - for example, Tennis. Tennis is the closest major sport to badminton and they have no problems issuing wild cards.
     
    #11 galaxyduo, Aug 12, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  12. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    Another person who can't possibly become champion - a non qualified, non wildcarded and not selected by china player.

    I could see your point if you would not recognize a "truly" world champion for all and any reason unless LD was in the competition, that would be up to you. But to just single out the wildcard as the reason to discredit the winner of the 2014 WC as a "truly" world champion is really messed up.

    Hearing what you say and that others may think the same, actually makes me think how disrespectful LD has been to the other players by not attempting to qualify or retire.
     
  13. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Absolutely, we're talking about the world championship per se, not any tournament, so anybody no matter under what circumstances, eg long hiatus, injury layoff, coming back from retirement, even personal reasons for taking a break - as long as he is considered good enough (by who? BWF or simply the badminton world at large) to pose a considerable challenge to any of the world's top players - should be invited to compete.

    In the World Championships, only the best of the best deserves to be crowned World Champion, regardless of upsets,loss of form, sustaining injury during the tournament, whatever - at the very least all the serious contenders must come together to determine who is the world champion until the next time round when he has to defend his title. That's right, the reigning world champion ought to be given a chance to defend his title, not to mention awarding others a chance to get a crack at it.

    Following the rules doesn't mean they cannot be changed for good,acceptable purposes or reasons worth considering. Isn't the notion of wild card itself contrary to the rules? What about BWF changing the rules of the game, such as the scoring system before and presently wants to introduce 11x5 scoring system after a trial period. Rules,unlike the laws of nature, are not cast in stone, unchangeable for all times, the history of sports show how they evolve over time, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, all the more change is necessary, even inevitable as new conditions and circumstances arise, as technology progresses, and human society advances (though not always for the best,unfortunately).

    Folks, have you forgotten this poll http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...in-Dan-wild-card-for-2014-World-Championships ? As of now, 76%, i.e 93 of 121 voters are for Lin Dan's wild card. By extension, I make bold to safely say if we conduct a poll on whether Lin Dan, or any defending champion for that matter, should be entitled to automatic qualification to the WC, the outcome would be just as convincingly in the affirmative.

    As for players taking leave of absence for any length of time and for whatever reasons, personal or otherwise, and therefore is presumed to not promote the sport during that period - I say, common, give them a break. They' re only human like everyone else, how we all would love to take a considerable time off at least once a year from our daily grind and come back rested and focused; as many are wont to say,we take a rest so as to travel farther. Besides, in Lin Dan's case, his "extra-curricular activities" during his long hiatus are still indirectly a promotion of badminton just for being who he is, an iconic figure. To cite another example, Lee Hun-Il who retired and come back three (was it four?) times, most welcome isn't it? And the main reason for his retirement each time is largely to do with the regimented and restrictive life he's forced to lead away from his family and not being allowed to stay together most of the time when he was still with the KOR national team. Would anybody object if he's awarded wild cards to SS tourneys and the WC included? It's unimaginable how anybody can overlook or make light of Lin Dan's or Lee HI's more than a decade each of untold sacrifice and wholehearted dedication to the sport from since their childhood through youth to adulthood giving the best years of their lives.

    Frankly, for me it's tiresome and meaningless at this stage to revisit the same old arguments for and objections against the WC wild card for Lin Dan. I'd expect the same reasons for and against allowing automatic qualification for the defending champion to the world championship will be used in Lin Dan 's case. Apparently, some of the opposition are targeted at Lin Dan specifically rather than the issue as such (I'd loathe to deal with their prejudices). To even imply that Lin Dan is being disrespectful to other players by not attempting to qualify or retiring for good, what kind of argument is that ?! - I can't help but to question the accuser's motive;anyway,not worth rebutting, I'm sorry to say. Think Taufik Hidayat and you'd get my drift yet I never have any problem with him continuing as long as he did; the same goes for Lee HI or any other in similar situations (hmm,who else should've retired?).

    Finally, to come back to the OP's thread whose stand I fully support, I strongly urge the BWF to institute automatic qualification for all defending champions to the WCs. Personally, for the WCs,I won't even have any issue with anybody (not just Lin Dan should he do that) just wanting to compete at the WC and no other tournaments once a year or year after year as long as he is good enough to challenge the very best for the world title, as that's what the WC is for as befitting its definitive status and highest prestige.
     
  14. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    ^ Actually I am totally in the pro camp and think LD without doubt should have been given a wild card. But he wasn't and the reason he is not there is not mainly down to this. In fact if he had just started playing a couple tournaments earlier no real skin off his break, he would have qualified, so I am not really sure he is justified there.
    It does appear people now feel that there will be a sudo champion this year. Lin Dan has a responsibility to the sport and has to take some responsibility for this situation, It has fed him after all. LD is way bigger than any of the others you mention therefore has more responsibility. No prejudices, I am still a massive fan but have to question this.
     
  15. soulpx

    soulpx Regular Member

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    To you this year world champion just the runner up to the "true world champion". But to badminton fans with logical thinking, this year world champion is really a world champion. Because what? He worked hard to train and to stay fit over the qualification period to win matches and get some points, fly over across many countries to help promote the sport, leave their families, wife, kids and new born babies to participate the tournament while the "true world champion" (to you) sitting at home eating popcorn watching it live beside his beloved wife. Or at the beach enjoying the sun tanned his skin. If this year world champion don't deserve to be called a world champ, I really don't understand what kind of world we are living.
     
  16. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    For me, the 2014 Copenhagen WC will be remembered more for Lin Dan's absence than who won it. However, that's not to say I'm not going to recognize the eventual world MS titlist, only that we cannot help but wonder what might have been, who is the 'true',undisputed world champion, and suchlike. In other words, the 2014 MS WC will inevitably be called into question by not a few detractors and justifiably so for a long,long time if not forever. Just live with it.

    Interestingly, isn't it quite strange,perhaps funny, that the man himself is not too bothered by it, he has moved on and set his sights on the Rio'16 Olympics ? Instead, it's us fans here who still can't seem to get over it,well.

    Nevertheless, galaxyduo posed a highly relevant and vitally important question, and I'm all for it. Are you listening, BWF?
     
  17. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    As Justin L says, World Champion implies "best in the world." How can you be the World Champion when many regard you as 2nd best because the "best" is not a part of this tournament?
     
  18. galaxyduo

    galaxyduo Regular Member

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    I don't doubt that #64 has worked hard to get the points to participate in the WC. However, #64 also has almost no chance to win the WC. I've already said that if I'm #64 and I lost my spot to LD, it would motivate me to work harder for next year so that my ranking is so much higher than #64, it wouldn't be an issue the next year.

    #64 knows he has almost no chance of winning the tournament. Provided the lowest ranked player did not win the tournament the year before, do you know of a SS or WC where the lowest ranked player won the tournament in the history of badminton?
     
  19. Justin L

    Justin L Regular Member

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    Pardon me for saying this - it doesn't matter how hard a player trains, how he has to travel all over the world competing without break, leaving his beloved family behind time after time, etc, while the other player chooses to take a long rest to spend quality time with his dear wife and parents, enjoying life and all that and at the same time risk losing his form and fitness. Ultimately, it comes down to who is truly the best player in the world as far as the world championship is concerned.

    There's no gainsaying that professional sport is cruel. It's not uncommon for many athletes to train their guts out, sacrifice their precious time and effort, literally giving the best years of their lives, at the expense of quality time with their loved ones and yet at the end of the day have little to show for it, nothing to fall back on, no career to speak of, even neglected and forgotten in some unfortunate cases. That's why I 'm all for some sort of proper,decent arrangements and viable plans be made for these national athletes upon their retirement but that's another story.

    The latest casualty as we know is Du Pengyu who is forced by circumstances to a premature retirement at age 27 (actually,I last heard that he himself expressed his desire to retire to LYB even before the Thomas Cup debacle but his request is still under consideration by LYB, officially not confirmed yet but his withdrawal from the WC points towards such an eventuality).Personally, I'd much prefer he make the WC'14 his swan song;on the other hand, if his heart is not in it, then no point forcing and torturing himself. Anyway, something good came out of it, thanks to his last-minute withdrawal, Simon Santoso gets to have a crack at the world title.
     
  20. craigandy

    craigandy Regular Member

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    Well same goes if he was injured but you said that would be fine? What happened, happened and it was mostly down to LD himself not the wildcard. The show will go on and the best this year will be crowned.
     

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