The big question – can anyone stop Kento Momota?
The world no. 1, and current All-England Men’s Singles champion, is unbeaten since July and is showing no signs of slowing down – his victory in Korea was an exhibition of thrilling badminton.
If anyone is going to stop him, we think it could be home favourite Viktor Axelsen. Axelsen, who lost the 2019 final to Momota in Birmingham earlier this year, will have home support in Odense and has been seeded 7th, with fellow Dane Anders Antonsen 4th. Given the Japanese’s current form, it does seem a tough ask.
Another winner in Korea, He Bing Jiao, is seeded 7th in what should be a cracking Women’s Singles competition. Any of the top 8 will fancy their chances, but don’t bet against unseeded Spanish star Carolina Marin, an All-England winner in 2015.
She’s on her way back from a serious injury but victory in another Super 1000 event, the China Open, last month shows a player with her confidence returned. Don’t write her off.
Talking of previous All-England winners, Indonesian pair Kevin Sukamuljo & Marcus Gideon have been seeded at the top of the Men’s Doubles rankings. And for good reason – they’ve won 13 BWF World Tour titles since 2018, including the All-England last year.
Beaten on that day in 2018 were Danish pair Boe and Mogensen – who will face 6th seeds Cheng Kai Han and Hao Dong Zhou in the First Round with the expectation of their country on them – but it seems likely that Sukamuljo and Gideon will be adding title no.14 to their cabinet.
It looks likely to be an all Asian affair in the Women’s Doubles, with the top seeds all coming from Japan, China, Korea, and Indonesia. Again, the smart money is on Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota, 2018 All-England victors and recent winners of the Indonesia Open – but they been seeded behind fellow Japanese duo Nagahara and Matsumoto.
Japan does not have the strongest record at the Denmark Open, sitting behind England, China and the hosts in the medal table, but with the three top seeds hailing from the country, it’s a decent bet to say they’ll be celebrating in Tokyo on October 20th.
In at 7th seed in the Mixed Doubles are England’s very own Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith. They caused a huge shock in June this year, beating fellow English pair Chris & Gabby Adcock, to win Gold at the European Games. They will have their work cut out in Odense in a quality field.
They will hope to progress further than last year, where they lost in the first round. We think they could spring a surprise in this tournament, as they have done before.
It all promises to be a thrilling tournament – who are you backing?
The YONEX All-England Championships return to Birmingham in March 2020 – and you could be there to witness the names above strive for glory in the World’s most prestigious tournament.