Nepal int'l series badminton tournament set to kick off

- Adarsha Dhakal, Kathmandu

Dec 4, 2018-

Nepal is all set to host its biggest badminton tournament as the Yonex Sunrise Nepal International Series kicks off from Tuesday at the courts of Nepal Armed Police Force Headquarters in Halchowk. 

The series is third tier programme of the World Badminton Federation (BWF) after the top-tier BWF Super Series and Grand Prix Gold and Grand Prix tournaments. The Nepal International Series will see 178 shuttlers—117 in men’s and 61 in women’s categories—from 20 nations vying in five different events.

The participating countries include America, Germany, France, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Mauritius, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Maldives, Vietnam, Bahrain, Myanmar, Singapore and the host nation. Nepal will field 29 players in all events including men’s and women’s singles and doubles along with mixed doubles. 

Nepal Badminton Association (NBA) President Ramji Bahadur Shrestha said the tournament will help gain Nepali players a huge amount of exposure. “Although the big nations are sending their second rung players, it will still be a very good platform for our players to experience a competitive playing environment,” said Shrestha during a press conference on Monday. 

“We are organising this tournament for the third time and the impact has already been made in the men’s badminton. We do fall behind in getting good female shuttlers but continuous organisation of this tournament will help us address this issue as well. The good thing is this tournament is participated in by 20 nations which is the highest number anywhere in this world for this series,” added the NBA president.

The tournament carries an overall purse of US$ 10,000 with the men’s and women’s singles winners getting $750 apiece. The runners-up and losing semi-finalists will get $380 and $290 each while quarter-finals and pre-quarterfinals entrants will also get their share of cash prizes. The winners and runners up in the doubles events will get $790 and $380. Cash prizes are also set aside for semi-finalist, quarter-finalists and pre-quarterfinalists. 

Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) Development Committee Chairman Moosa Nashid lauded the effort from NBA. “Its good to see a tournament of this magnitude happening in Nepal. We as governing bodies of the sport are trying our best to bridge the gap between players from smaller and big nations and this tournament will help us in our effort,” said Nashid who is also the BWF council member.

According to Shrestha, the tournament carries an estimated budget of Rs 4 million. BAC has supporter with a financial assistance of US $8,000, while Yonex will be providing US$ 6,000 as sponsorship amount. “The National Sports Council has said it will provide us with Rs 1 million and rest of the expenses has to be borne by other sponsorship,” said Shrestha.

Published: 04-12-2018 09:32

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