Delhi will host the $200,000 Super Series badminton event after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) awarded the premier annual event to the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for three years beginning next year.
The event, scheduled immediately after the All England championship in March, will be held at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, the venue that hosted the Badminton Asia championship last month. Hyderabad and Mumbai are the standby venues.
The BAI President V. K. Verma, who is also the BWF vice president and Secretary General of the Badminton Asia Confederation, attended the WBF Executive Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur and said, “We won the vote against the Swiss Open 10-7 with all non-European nations supporting our bid.”
A Super Series features 32 leading players in the men’s and women’s sections. Competitions are also held in doubles. So far, India has hosted only Grand Prix events. Now India joins a select group of nations who have the right to host a Super Series event for three years.
The Super Series coming India’s way is also being seen as a reward for the manner in which the BAI hosted the 2008 World junior championship at Pune, the 2009 World championship and the Badminton Asia championship last month.
Mr. Verma took the opportunity to highlight India’s rise in badminton saying, “We are now ranked seventh in the world in both men and women sections, having been placed at the 30th position five years ago.”
Two former All England champions Prakash Padukone and P. Gopi Chand were delighted on India being awarded the Super Series.
“A lot of young players will get an opportunity to watch the top players of the world and improve their own game. More youngsters will also take up the game if events of this stature are held regularly and publicised extensively,” observed Padukone.
Gopi said, “India has been put on the world badminton map well and truly and this will be a boon for the badminton fraternity in India. I am happy that we are at a stage to host such a prestigious event.”
Keywords: badminton Super Series