What is the Sudirman Cup in badminton?

The Sudirman Cup in badminton is a mixed team global competition. It does not offer any prize money and players play it for national prestige and for a boost in their ranking points.

History and Trophy
The event began in 1989 and was named in honor of Dick Sudirman, a former shuttler who was the vice-president of the International Badminton Federation and the founder of the Badminton Association of Indonesia. The team winning the event is awarded with an 80 cm long Sudirman Cup which is made of 92% gold-plated solid silver (22 carat). The base is made of Java teak wood. The trophy is in the form of a badminton shuttlecock that nestles a replica of the Borobodur temple, the world’s largest Buddhist temple. It bears handles in the form of stamens, indicating the roots of badminton.

The tournament was based on a promotion-relegation format from 1989 till 2020. In 2021, a new format was introduced, where teams were grouped based on their rankings. Continental qualifiers and world rankings decided the final 16 teams that would compete for the title. Four teams each from Asia and Europe, one team each from Africa, Pan America and Oceania, and four teams based on World Team rankings comprised the final sixteen teams. The host team and the defending champions automatically qualify for the final sixteen. If the defending champion and the host team is the same nation, then an extra slot opens up in the world ranking slot. These sixteen teams were grouped in four pots. The top two teams from each pot made it to the knock-out stage.

Match play
Each tie is contested in a men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and a mixed doubles match.
The most successful team of the event is China, winning 13 titles. The measure of China’s dominance can be realised as the second best team is South Korea, who has won four titles.

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