Notwithstanding the sound technical conduct, the $200,000 India Open Super Series badminton championship has fallen short on many organisational aspects at Siri Fort Sports Complex here.
The opening day's action on Tuesday was restricted to the qualifying rounds in men and women's singles. As expected, the Indian men captured all four qualifying spots in the main draw while the women managed three.
Hong Kong's Lok Yan Poon prevented an Indian monopoly by beating a tired National runner-up Arundhati Pantawane 21-17, 14-21, 21-13.
Among the men, third seed Anup Sridhar made it easily, as expected. More impressive was the young B. Sai Praneeth who knocked out fourth seeded Thai, Suppanyu Avihingsanon 21-19, 21-19 to make the main draw.
Though the Indian players in both sections did their bit, the Organising Committee continues to adopt the trial-and-error method to get things done.
The premier event has been allotted to India for three years. Going by the state of affairs so far, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has reasons to feel apprehensive over the conduct of this event here in the future.
The senior functionaries of the Organising Committee are well aware of the shortcomings, from the poor accreditation process – that left several players, officials, technical delegates and mediapersons with great inconvenience – to the setting up of various functional areas at the venue. Although the BWF handbook for Super Series presents an impeccable checklist to conduct the event, its execution by the OC has left much to be desired.
Privately, the OC members point to the “circumstances” that has led to such an unpleasant situation. In the absence of Mr. V. K. Verma, the President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) now in jail on charges of corruption related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the OC members are finding it difficult to put things together.
One of the senior BAI office-bearers confessed, “We are clearly missing the ability of Mr. Verma who knew how to manage everything from people to finance and resources to clearances from various authorities.”
An OC member, too, was candid in admitting the flaws. “We started our work barely a month before the event. Various committees were set up very late and most members were not equipped to deal with the challenge.”
The results (qualifying, prefix denotes seeding, Indians unless stated): Men (second round): H. S. Prannoy bt Oscar Bansal 21-16, 21-11; B. Sai Praneeth bt 4-Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Tha) 21-19, 21-19; 3-Anup Sridhar bt K. Nandagopal 21-14, 25-23; Sourabh Verma bt 2-Chun Seang Tan (Mas) 21-12, 20-22, 21-12; (first round): Oscar bt 1-Aditya Elango 21-16, 21-17; Prannoy bt Guaranshu Chopra 21-7, 21-14; Avihingsanon bt Tanveer Gill 21-12, 21-12; Praneeth bt Manish Gupta 21-5, 21-7; Nandagopal bt Rohan Castelino 14-21, 21-13, 21-15; Sridhar bt Vikram Saini 21-14, 21-8; Verma bt Nigel Dsa 21-15, 21-17; Chun Seang Tan bt T. Nagendra 21-9, 21-11.
Women (second round): 1-Sayali Gokhale bt Mudra Dahinje 21-12, 21-10; 3-Trupti Murgunde bt Anita Ohlan 21-15, 21-14; Lok Yan Poon (Hkg) bt Arundhati Pantawane 21-17, 14-21, 21-13; P. V. Sindhu bt Neha Pandit 21-12, 21-18; (first round): Sayali bt Tanvi Lad 20-22, 21-19, 21-15; Mudra bt Mohta Sahdev 21-14, 21-16; Trupti bt Dhanya nair 21-18, 21-5; Anita bt Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-9, 21-14; Poon bt Saili Rani 21-8, 21-10; Arundhati bt 4-Ying Suet Tse (Hkg) 21-19, 14-21, 22-20; Sindhu bt P. C. Thulasi 21-18, 21-15; Neha bt 2-Monika Fasungova (Svk)21-8, 21-12.
Keywords: Indian Open