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Pitchamon Opatniputh won the Junior World Champion Ladies Singles

pitchamon opatniputh wins World Junior Championship in badminton 2023

Thailand’s rising star, Pitchamon Opatniputh won the BWF Junior World Championships 2023 without conceding a single game in the six matches she played. Pitchamon is affectionately known as “Pink”.

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Although not yet a U19 junior player, 16-year-old Pitchamon Opatniputh overpowered China’s Xu Wen Jin in the semifinal and thrashed Indonesian ladies’ singles player Chiara Marvella HANDOYO in the final. In fairness, the Indonesian girl seemed handicapped from an injury in the ladies’ finals match.

The BWF World Junior Championships 2023 took place in Spokane, Washington State, United States.

With this win, Pink is well positioned to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Rathanok Intanon. Before Rathanok became a badminton superstar on the BWF World Tour, she won the World Junior Championship girls singles a whopping 3 times.

Another current top-10 player from Thailand, men’s singles top-10 player Kunlavut Vitidsarn, also won the Junior World Championship three times.

Watch Pitchamon Opatniputh play the final at the World Junior Championships

The women’s singles final at the BWF World Junior Championships 2023

Noteworthy achievements in women’s singles competition

These promising badminton players showed an impressive skill level, but didn’t quite make it all the way to the final:

– Sarunrak Vitidsarn from Thailand was ousted in the quarterfinals
– Gianna Stiglich from Italy made it to the quarterfinals
– Tara Shah from India made it to the quarterfinals (Tara is one of the many talented players regularly practicing at the Yone Peter Gade Academy in Denmark)

Click here to see the complete draw and all results from the World Junior Championships 2023

Streaming from World Junior Championships Badminton 2023

No streaming World Junior Badminton Championships

Streaming from the World Junior Championships 2023 is apparently not a BWF priority. As a result coaches, parents and family members, teammates, and others with an interest in following the proceedings, will have to settle for the live score on Tournament Software.

Streaming badminton matches online is easy – but BWF can’t be bothered

In my personal opinion, there is no good reason not to offer streaming from the BWF World Junior Championships 2023. Not one.

I suppose this is yet another demonstration of how ridiculously amateurish our beloved sport is governed by BWF.

Let me give you a bit of background:

  • The Junior World Championships will showcase the most talented badminton players on Earth. The best of them play badminton at a very high level.
  • Some of these junior players will soon be active on the BWF World Tour. Some of them likely will become the future stars of badminton.
  • Past winners include badminton icons such as Sun Jun, Saina Nehwal, Chen Long, Ratchanok Intanon, Viktor Axelsen, Kento Momota, Kunlavut Vitidsarn, and Yu Yang, just to mention a few.

Many of us would like to watch our countrymen compete, and, I would have thought, many would like to watch some good battles between some of the best badminton juniors in the world.

Moreover, I suspect, a good number of dedicated coaches might want to encourage badminton players to get inspiration (and motivation) from watching streamed BWF World Junior Championship matches

But, alas, unless you’re in Spokane, Washington, you can’t. Because BWF in their infinite wisdom decided that streaming from the World Junior Championships is not important.

Interestingly, on the European U19 badminton tournament circuit most events offer streaming and many tournaments stream all courts. And some local tournament organizers, f.ex. the Dutch Junior International tournament, do an absolutely excellent job of streaming from start to finish.

As a badminton lover, I must say – in earnest – I too am starting to believe that badminton is not really important. Because of how badminton is governed by BWF, the sport comes across as poor, disorganized, centralistic, and dysfunctional.

If BWF was an actual business relying on customer satisfaction and loyalty, it would have gone bankrupt long ago.

Drop shot trickshot tutorial: Anders Antonsen, Kasper Antonsen & Oliver Babic


This drop shot trickshot is a way to surprise your opponent on the badminton court. Check the video to see Anders Antonsen demonstrate the drop shit trickshot with a little help from his brother Kasper Antonsen and his friend Oliver Babic.

(P.S. This deceptive drop shot does not have a name yet – if you have a name suggestion, please leave a comment)

Drop shot deception from the backcourt

In badminton, deception shots are difficult to master, and once you do, you should use trick shots sparingly. The Antonsen drop shot trickshot is a deception that could (only) win you 1 or 2 points in an actual game. But if you manage that, the impact will be significant.

Your opponent might get frustrated because they were tricked by your drop shot. And you, of course, will likely feel very good about winning the point and having deceived your opponent with your trickshot.

But make no mistake. Before you use this drop trickshot in a game, you must master the deception shot to perfection. The video on this page will show you how. Make sure you practice it again and again on the practice court and in fun games before you consider applying the trickshot in a competitive badminton match.

Practicing badminton trick shots helps you improve your badminton skills

In the video coach Kasper Antonsen, brother of Anders Antonsen and a former pro player himself, explains that practicing trick shots will help badminton players improve their touch, timing, general badminton skills, and other areas of their game. See the video here

Badminton experts and former pro players often mention that badminton player development has become too structured, planned, and organized in an elitarian way. They say that there isn’t enough time for young players to “goof around” on the court.

As a result, young badminton players no longer pay enough attention to the natural process of experimenting with all sorts of badminton shots. Practicing trick shots with friends, parents, or siblings is a great way to experiment on the badminton court.

P.S. Anders Antonsen is considered to have an exceptional technical badminton technique. As a young player, he spent a lot of time goofing around the courts with his brother and – for example – his childhood friend, Rasmus Gemke, who happened to live on the same street as Anders and his brothers in Aarhus, Denmark.

Badminton fan Paul Newman turned in his grave after US Open


If the late actor Paul Newman had watched the recent US Open tournament, he would most likely have been very unhappy. He might even have turned in his grave.

Paul Newman was an enthusiastic badminton player. The actor starred in blockbuster classics such as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Hustler”. Most movie buffs know that Paul Newman was an auto-racing enthusiast, but few know that he was a passionate badminton player.

In his youth, Paul Newman was an intercollegiate badminton player. He then stopped playing regularly until he picked up badminton again when he was in his late 50s and continued to play into his late 70s.

As this article alludes to, he was very competitive on the badminton court. In interviews, he would educate Americans about the benefits of badminton highlighting that it is one of the fastest and most physically demanding sports. As is the case with most badminton enthusiasts, he wanted the sport to develop.

Paul Newman talks badminton with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show – viewed by millions in USA

US Open 2023 didn’t make badminton look good – quite the contrary

One of Paul Newman’s famous movie quotes (from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) was:

“Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

North America represents a huge opportunity for badminton. Yet, BWF chose to place the recent US Open in Iowa, not in New York or Los Angeles. The week before, the infinite wisdom of BWF had Canada Open take place in Calgary, not in Toronto or Vancouver.

While I’m sure that Council Bluff, Iowa, is a nice enough place, it is definitely not a badminton hotspot in the US. The US Open Tournament 2023 was played in Mid-America Center – a massive hall, which can seat around 7.000 spectators.

But it might as well have been played at one of the local high-school gyms. The audience size at US Open was so alarmingly small that one might have thought that the streaming was from a small local tournament in Irkutsk or Pilsen.

We cannot possibly know what makes BWF execute activities the way they do. But I can say – categorically – I for one don’t understand what the vision is if there is one. Hence, my conclusion is that BWF is viewing the world of badminton through bifocals.

In the USA numbers don’t lie and size matters

BWF has wasted so many opportunities to resuscitate and scale badminton in the US. The Iowa US Open was a missed opportunity.

To convince Americans about the “merit” of badminton, they need to see either big numbers (crowds, money, charity impact) or celebrity endorsements. Had the recent US Open been a spectator success, more Americans would get to know about the tournament and likely become curious about badminton.

70-90 years ago, badminton was popular amongst celebrities in California. (see this article). A couple of decades ago, Paul Newman was a firm badminton advocate. Rumour has it that Leonardo Dicaprio is fond of badminton. In other words, there have been, and probably still are, opportunities to get Americans curious about badminton through celebrity endorsements.

Numbers matter because we need critical mass to be able to attract a sizeable audience.

Nowadays, badminton is popular mainly amongst Asians in the US and Canada. In New York, there are nearly 1,9 million Asian American residents. In Los Angeles 1,8 million. In San Francisco over 1 million.
In Iowa and Kentucky combined, there are less than 150.000 Asian American residents.

Need I say more?

How to crack the nut of popularizing badminton in America?

At Badmintonspeak we have a few valid suggestions. But we’ll save those for another time and place. To end this piece, let me share a personal observation:

I am old enough to have experienced soccer (football) in the USA in the 1980s when soccer in the USA was struggling to find its feet. As a foreign student, I played soccer in tropical South Florida and I coached a team of 5-7-year-olds.

Since then, people’s behavior and attitudes may have changed, but the enthusiasm and support I experienced from players, parents, volunteers, and sponsors alike were outstanding. Far better than anything I had experienced in Europe.

Sure, the Floridian soccer parents were very competitive. And except for the Latino parents, most parents didn’t really understand the nuances of the game. But they still cheered louder and longer than anything I’d ever experienced before or since. The concession stand was always open for business, even if only to serve hotdogs, drinks, and snacks to some 40-50 folks.

The talented players were extremely serious about improving their game. Try-outs for Regional or State select teams made try-outs in my native country pale in comparison. Players with less talent and ambition quickly came to terms with just doing their best and having fun playing.

If badminton clubs and organizers in the USA can crack the grass-roots code, great things lie ahead for our wonderful sport.

Assuming that Americans and their behavior haven’t changed all that much, it seems clear to me what needs to be done. The term “soccer moms” might give you a clue.

Is this the best badminton academy in the world? – Yonex Peter Gade Academy


Which is the best badminton academy?

There are many private and independent badminton academies around the world. At the semi-professional and professional levels, these academies typically cater to badminton players who aren’t accepted in the National Elite Training Centers.

Where is the best badminton academy in the world? Is it even possible to determine? Badmintonspeak visited the Yonex Peter Gade Academy in Copenhagen for a talk with head coach Peter Gade and a few of the academy players.

The academy was founded by Peter Gade. He is a former world number 1 in men’s singles and is considered among the badminton legends. Based in Denmark, the academy is supported by Yonex and attracts players from all over the world.

Meet Yonex Peter Gade Academy

Best Badminton Academy facts for YPGA

The YPGA (Yonex Peter Gade Academy) is located in Denmark. Here are some quick facts about the academy

  • Training takes place 5 days a week from around 8:30 – 11:30
  • The academy uses facilities at Gentofte Badminton Club and Copenhagen Badminton Club
  • Approved Yonex-sponsored players can attend the academy at no cost
  • Non-Yonex players can apply to attend and will be subject to paying a fee for joining the academy
  • Players can commit to join for days, weeks, or months
  • The head coach is Peter Gade. Highly competent assistant badminton coaches are also on court to help players develop.

If you want to know more, check the Instagram account for the academy, and don’t forget to subscribe to Badmintonspeak here

Top badminton countries in 2023 – country world ranking badminton

badminton country ranking top 10
top 10 badminton countries in the world

Who are the top badminton countries in 2023 and beyond?

The official BWF country ranking for badminton is a good indication of which countries are doing best overall. Check below to see where your country ranks on the current list. The list includes 118 badminton countries from around the world.

Country team badminton ranking – how it is done by BWF

The ranking done by BWF (Badminton World Federation) takes into account the following:

  • country team placement at Sudirman Cup
  • country team placement at Thomas Cup
  • country team placement at Uber Cup
  • placement of the top player or double/mixed-doubles from each country in each of the 5 categories.
    Depending on the placement a certain amount of points is awarded. F.ex. if a country’s highest-placed single player is number 2 on the world ranking, the country is awarded 1.500 points, if the highest-ranked player is number 5 on world ranking list, the country is awarded 1.200 points, and so on.

The World Team Country Ranking is updated every 3 months.

Top 10 badminton countries in the world

Since the first top badminton countries ranking in 2011, the countries included in the top 10 have been more or less the same. China has been dominating the top-of-the-list of the badminton country ranking since 2011.

Here is the top 10 badminton country ranking – updated April 4, 2023 (you may have to scroll to see the full table)

9TPEChinese TaipeiChinese Taipei1200120010005005002000100010008400
The top 10 badminton countries in the world as per the latest ranking data (Source: BWF)

See the ranking for all badminton countries here

The top badminton countries in Europe are …

Denmark has been a constant fixture on the list of top 10 countries since 2011.
Currently, European countries such as Germany, France, England, and Spain are the countries to watch out for. One or more of them may very well have a shot at becoming the next European number 1.

Top badminton countries outside Asia and Europe

The countries to watch out for are Canada, the United States of America, Egypt, and perhaps even Brazil. But also United Arab Emirates (UAE) where badminton recently has enjoyed renewed focus from the powers that be.

Is this the method to identify the number 1 badminton country?

At Badmintonspeak we believe that BWF’s current country ranking method gives a reasonably accurate picture of the best badminton countries. What is your opinion? Please use the comment section to let us know

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Who is Thailand’s next badminton star: Pitchamon Opatniputh

Pitchamon Opatniputh Thailand badminton player

Thailand’s next female badminton star in the making is Pitchamon Opatniputh. Born in 2007, she has already achieved remarkable results in senior tournaments.

Similar to Thailand’s former women’s singles former World Champion, Ratchanok Intanon, Pitchamon is showing great results at a very young age. Her recent match against Carolina Marin at Thailand Open 2023 demonstrated why she is someone to watch in the near future. Check Ms. Opatniputh’s profile on BWF here

Who is Pitchamon Opatniputh – Thailand’s rising badminton star?

Born in Chiang Mai on 4 January 2007, Pitchamon began playing badminton at the age of 5. During her formative years, she rapidly improved her badminton skills and won many tournaments as a young player. She was initially trained by her father at the Thai Smile Badminton Club.

Nicknamed “Pink”, Pitchamon’s breakthrough came at the age of just 15 in 2022. She went through qualification to win the Bahrain International Challenge in November. Earlier in 2022 she won the Victor Denmark Masters also going through qualification. In January of 2022 she also won the Victor Swedish Open.

Her rapid rise in 2022 earned her a spot on the Thailand Uber Cup team.

Youngest female player representing Thailand at SEA Games

At the South East Asian Games in 2021, when Pitchamon was 15 years of age, she became the youngest-ever female player to represent her country. This is also the first time the press in Asia experienced her. As a result, she was dubbed the “Badminton Angel”. Apparently because of her looks and demeanor.

Here is one of her Instagram posts about the experience representing Thailand at SEA Games in Hanoi.


How far will this “badminton angel” reach?

Given her impressive results at a very young age, the badminton angel from Thailand has the potential to reach the top of women’s singles badminton. At the time of writing this, she is only 16 years of age. So a lot can happen – good and bad – in the coming years.

Reaching the very top of women’s badminton requires consistency, continuous hard work, focus, and dedication. Not to mention a competent team to take care of the training, coaching, diet, mental strengthening, etc.

The leaders and coaches at Thailand Badminton have proven themselves many times. So we think she is in good hands as far as her support system goes. If she can stay motivated and be patient in terms of how quickly she progresses, she’s got a really good chance of reaching the top 10 on the BWF Ranking.

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