It’s the major battleground before the upcoming Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and Rupertite Adrian Liu will be right in the thick of things.
The 2015 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Sudirman Cup World Team Championships is set to take place from May 10 – 17 in Dongguan, China – a city in the country’s Guandong province – and it’s one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.
Liu will be attending with his usual men’s doubles partner Derrick Ng in their category, having won their fifth straight national men’s doubles championship – the first team to ever accomplish such a feat in Canada.
“This will be our third world team championship together,” said Liu last week.
“I’m definitely excited to go to China and represent my country and our city, Prince Rupert. I’ve been there quite a few times, but not in that province. China always hosts an amazing tournament from the tournament venue all the way to pick-up from the airport.”
Liu, who trains in Richmond, B.C. with the Canadian national team, will face-off against three teams in Canada’s Group 2A – Spain, the Netherlands and Singapore.
Singapore (No. 11) and the Netherlands (No. 16) are both ranked ahead of Canada (No. 18) on the world team rankings, updated on April 3, but that doesn’t scare the Canadians.
“I think every team that we’ll face in our pool will be a good challenge for us, especially Spain (ranked No. 27) and Singapore. I have not seen the men’s doubles team for Spain, but Spain has produced many strong players,” said the athlete.
“Derrick and I don’t really have any rival countries, but our experience in this tournament should fare us well.”
Liu and Ng are on a hot streak for Team Canada. In addition to their national men’s doubles string of championships, they’ve also competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and won gold in the 2014 Pan Am Badminton Championships.
In all, 35 countries are vying to medal at the Sudirman Cup.
“A strong performance in China will reaffirm our place as the dominant nation in the Pan Am zone and a force to be reckoned with at the Pan Am Games,” Canadian team head coach Ram Nayyar told Badminton Canada.
Adding to the pressure of playing in not only China’s prestigious tournament as well as the Pan Am Games in July, the qualifying year for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has just started in May with each win by Liu and Ng earning points and contributing to their chances of attending for Canada.