Red bull tourney provides big boost for badminton
Updated: 2014-03-09 07:52
When the Red Bull China badminton tournament opens on March 22, the nationwide grassroots amateur competition is expected to attract 60,000 participants before it wraps up on July 20.
The event will cover 195 cities and include singles, doubles and mixed doubles in best-of-seven eliminations over three sessions: inter-city, conference finals and super finals.
There are eight conferences and the eight winners will slug it out in the super finals. The winning team will earn a ticket to the 2014 world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a showdown against the host nation's top amateur team, coached by retired superstar Peter Gade.
Officials from the Badminton World Federation and China's badminton governing body are hailing the Red Bull China tournament for playing a significant role in promoting and developing the sport globally.
"One of the key strategic goals for BWF is to further strengthen the development of grassroots badminton," secretary general Thomas Lund said in Beijing last week. "Badminton can bring joy, unity and health to many millions of players. And at the same time this will allow us to find and help develop coming generations of badminton stars.
"Some very talented amateurs have emerged from this tournament, given the sport's immense popularity in China."
Echoing Lund's comment, China's badminton chief Li Yong bo said the tournament will bring the sport broader exposure.
"The Red Bull tournament is the most influential amateur badminton competition in China," Li said. "I'm glad to see more and more people begin to fall in love with badminton.
"This tournament has inspired a new generation to pick up the sport, which is a significant base for the sport's future and China's achievements at the professional level."
- China Daily
(China Daily 03/09/2014 page11)