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Free entry for India Open Super Series

Despite the presence of several top names in action at last year’s inaugural India Open Super Series badminton,fans had given the event a miss.

Written by Jonathan Selvaraj | New Delhi |
March 21, 2012 12:57:13 am

Despite the presence of several top names in action at last year’s inaugural India Open Super Series badminton,fans had given the event a miss. This year,therefore,the organisers have decided to make entry free to attract the crowds to the Siri Fort Sports Complex for the April 24-29 event.

“Last year there were a lot of empty seats at the venue. While part of the reason would be the fact that Saina lost in the first round itself,it was still very disappointing because it was the first time a Super Series event was being played in India,” admitted Selvamresh Supramaniam,Super Series marketing manager for BWF,in the city to analyse the preparedness for this year’s event.

TPS Puri,vice president of Badminton Federation of India and secretary of the organising committee added that seating would be allotted on a first-come-first-serve basis. “Last time,we lost money even on the printing of tickets,so it made no sense to do the same again. People will only have to pass a security check and will then be allotted a seat at the venue,” he said.

With most of the top shuttling powerhouses confirming participation in the event,including China,Japan,Thailand and Korea — though the organisers are not yet sure of the actual names that will be in action — they are hoping that free entry would encourage people to come for the event. “Because the India Open is the last tournament of the season and comes just before the Olympics,we can expect almost all the main players to take part. Everyone will be looking to gain crucial ranking points to get the most favourable draw for the Olympics,” said Selvamresh.

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However,he also cautioned that there may be pull-outs just before or even during the tournament,similar to those at the Swiss Open a week back,from some of the top names who may wish to avoid overstraining. In Basel,top players including women’s world No 1 Yihan Wang,world number 4 Jiang Yanjiao (both Chinese) and Peter Gade of Denmark withdrew citing injury. Doubts had also been raised on the withdrawals,with reports stating that the Chinese were trying to adjust rankings to ensure the best-possible draw at the Olympics,but Selvamresh disagreed.

“There is no proof of any wrongdoing. A player’s performance is very subjective. Both players have cited fatigue,which is understandable considering the last few months have seen a number of important tournaments. The players may chose to avoid certain events to focus on their preparation for the Olympics,” he says.

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