NEW DELHI, Jan 23 (PTI): The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has written to the sport’s world body (BWF), expressing its interest to host the Sudirman Cup Finals this year.
India was scheduled to host the mixed team championship in 2023, but the Badminton World Federation awarded the rights to Suzhou, China, while giving the 2026 World Championships to India.
Suzhou was due to host the championships in 2021 but, due to the Covid-19 situation in China, the BWF was not able to stage any tournaments in the country and the event was shifted to Vantaa in Finland.
Owing to the current Covid situation in China, there is again uncertainty regarding the Sudirman Cup, scheduled to be held there from May 14 to 21.
“India is keen to host the Sudirman Cup this year. We have written to BWF expressing our interest, we are expecting a positive response in a fortnight,” BAI general secretary Sanjay Mishra told PTI.
The season-ending Badminton World Tour Finals tournament was shifted out of Guangzhou to Bangkok due to the Covid-19 situation in the Chinese city last December.
All eyes are now on the China Masters Super 100 scheduled to be held at Ruichang, China from March 14-19.
Mishra said that India has also expressed its eagerness to host the Junior World Championships.
“We have also expressed our interest for the Junior world championship, which was allotted to the USA but they have now backed out. India has expressed interest but we are yet to hear back from BWF.
“However, if we get the Sudirman Cup then we may have to wait for another cycle for the world junior championship.”
Honolulu was awarded the rights to host the World Junior Championships in November 2018.
India’s S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian claimed a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Santander, Spain in October last year.
India hosted the World Badminton Championships in 2009 and the Thomas and Uber Cup in 2014.
The World Junior Championships was held once in 2008. The country also hosted the Badminton Asia Championships in 1965, 1983 2005 and 2010 before hosting the Team Event in 2016.
The India Open, which was upgraded to a Super 750 tournament, saw a good crowd at the IG stadium throughout the event, despite the early exit of the Indian shuttlers.
Talking on the sidelines of the event, Mishra said the BAI will try to go for paid tickets next year.
“The crowd response has been amazing. Looking at the interest of the fans, we feel motivated to go for paid tickets next time.”
Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Akane Yamaguchi on Sunday emerged champions at the India Open.
India will host two more international badminton tournaments this season with Guwahati set to organise a BWF Super 100 event. A junior international event is scheduled in Kerala.