Top stars skip Indian Open badmintonJune 5th, 2010 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, June 5 (IANS) The rather courageous move of the Tamil Nadu Badminton Association (TNBA) to host the $150,000 Yonex-Sunrise Indian Open Grand Prix here seems to have backfired as No.6 Saina Nehwal is the only top-10 entry in the five-day event commencing June 8.
Ashok Bajaj, the TNBA secretary and also the vice-president of the Badminton Association of India (BAI), did not mince words in expressing his disappointment at the poor response for the tournament during a media briefing here Friday night.
“I was shocked to see the draw. I pointed this out to the BAI, but I was informed that in view of two back-to-back Super Series events to follow the Indian Open, and offering more prize-money besides ranking points, players decided to opt out of our tournament,” said Bajaj.
Echoing the views, BAI joint secretary Punnaiah Choudary, pointed out that 2010 was a busy year and the Indian Open was a casualty as the top players had chosen their tournaments.
“We could not get any other dates in view of the packed calendar. The Thomas Cup and Uber Cup competitions were in May, followed by two Super Series events in Singapore and Indonesia later this month, the World championship in August, the Commonwealth Games (October) and the Asian Games (November). So, I think, the top players decided to drop the Indian Open from their schedule,” he said.
The Indian Open, a Level-3 event, offers ranking points ranging from 25 (first round) to 5,000 (winner) as against 40 to 9,200 that a player receives in the Super Series ($200,000).
Consequently, India’s top guns, Chetan Anand, ranked No.19, and Saina Nehwal, are the top seeds in the men’s and women’s singles, respectively, while the three paired events have a sprinkling of foreign entries, none in the top-10 category.
Also in the men’s singles draw is Malaysia’s 2003 All-England champion, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim who is ranked 21st and his presence provides a touch of respectability to the 64-player field.
In the women’s singles, the only worthy opponent for Saina is Malaysia’s Mew Choo Wong who is ranked 22nd and is seeded second.
Apart from the top Indian players, a few from Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Singapore have confirmed their participation.
The seedings (singles):
Men: Chetan Anand (India) 1; Muhammad Hafiz Hashim (Malaysia) 2; P Kashyap (India) 3; Arvind Bhat (India) 4; Anup Sridhar (India) 5; Anand Pawar (India) 6; RMV Guru Sai Dutt (India) 7; Ajay Jayaram (India) 8.
Women: Saina Nehwal (India) 1; Mew Choo Wong (Malaysia) 2; Aditi Mutatkar (India) 3; Maja Tvrdy (rpt Tvrdy) (Slovenia) 4; Fu-Sin Mingtian (Singapore) 5; Sayali Gokhale (India) 6; Trupti Murugunde (India) 7; Jiayuan Chen (Singapore) 8.
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